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.
See original here:
Linda Sarsour endorses Chelsea Manning for U.S. Senate …
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.
Read the rest here:
Chelsea Manning files to run for US Senate – ABC News
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.
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.
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.
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.
See the original post here:
Bradley Manning, who transitioned to Chelsea – latimes.com
Chelsea Manning appeared on stage in the final interview of the four-day Nantucket Project conference on the island of Nantucket, Mass., on Sept. 17. (AP)
The question has doggedChelsea Manning ever since she walked out of prison four months ago nearlythree decadesshortof a35-year sentence, courtesyof a commutation from President Barack Obama in the last days of his administration.
Is she a traitor? Had the Army privatebetrayed her country in 2010 when she passed hundreds of thousands of classifieddocuments to WikiLeaks? Or had Manning, as many believe, demonstrated loyalty to the American publicby exposingits government institutions?
At least once,the question was put toManning herself.An ABC reporterasked itin June, in one of Mannings rare interviewssince walking free, butdidnt get a clear answer.
Often, an answer was supplied by another, such as President Trump, who called Manninga traitorin all-capital letters.
Manningwas asked the question again Sunday, this timepoint-blank on astage on the island of Nantucket, Mass.
And this time, sheansweredwith finality.
Are you an American traitor? asked the moderator, in the final interviewof the four-day Nantucket Project conference(the boldest and most thought-provoking ideas of our time).
No, Im not, Manningsaid. And I believe I did the best I could in my circumstances to make an ethical decision.
And when she said ethical, she hammeredher fist inher lap.
[Chelsea Manning on leaking information: I have a responsibility to the public]
Manning tried to kill herself twice during her seven years in a cell in Fort Leavenworth. She was reportedly forced to sleep naked.
Not everyone was sympathetic.
As an Army intelligence analyst in 2010, then named Bradley Manning, she perpetratedwhat The Washington Post once described as one of the most notorious leaks of classified documents in U.S. history.
A quarter-million State Department cables. Classified documents about military prisoners atGuantanamo Bay, Cuba. Recordingsof U.S. soldiers firing from a helicopter atsuspected insurgents in Baghdad(I think they just drove over a body. Ha ha!), leaving two journalists dead and revolting much of the American public.
Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence, President Obama said seven years after her arrest as he wiped out the remainder of her sentence. She took responsibility for her crime.
She had, in a sense. But in Manningsfirst interview after going free, she told ABC News she felt a responsibility to the public.
Youre getting all this information, and its just death, destruction, mayhem, she said in June.And eventually, you just stop. I stopped seeing just statistics and information, and I started seeing people.
So many people call you a traitor. Many call you a hero, said the interviewer. Whois Chelsea Manning?
Im just me, she said. And for a while, that answer stood.
Vogue scored another interview in September a long piece that focused less on Mannings morality than on her fashion decisions (she came out as a transgender woman while in prison).
[Harvard dean rescinds Chelsea Mannings visiting fellow invitation, calling it a mistake]
And Harvard University has invited her to make a speech therein the future, although the schools relationship with the privatewas clouded this month when itrescinded a fellowship offer to Manning, bowing to pressure from upset staff and graduates.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo, for instance, canceled his own speech at the school,calling Manning an American traitor.
Pompeos comments mightbe why the Nantucket Project moderator, Eugene Jarecki, used exactly that term in on Sunday, when he and some of about 600 people in the audience questioned Manning, according to the Associated Press.
No,Manning said.She was not an American traitor.
Nor did she mind being snubbed by Harvard: I view that just as much of an honored distinction as the fellowship itself.
With a microphonetucked into her shirtcollar, sometimes sitting and sometimes rising to face the audience, Manning painted a dark picture of the country where she walks free.
Im walking out of prison, and I see literally a dystopiannovel unfolding before my eyes, she said. Thats how I feel when I walk in American streets today.
Butat one point,she also hinted at her version of brighterfuture.
There are things we as people can always do, Manningsaid. Whenever society and the institutionsare failing, we can always take our own individualactions against the institutionsof power.
The Chelsea Manning fiasco says a lot about Harvard
Chelsea Manning, who gave trove of U.S. secrets to WikiLeaks, leaves prison
Chelsea Manning releases first photo of herself since leaving prison
Chelsea Manning doesnt look glamorous in Vogue. And thats great.
See original here:
Chelsea Manning: I’m not a traitor – The Washington Post
In inviting people from all ideologies, including some considered odious to the opposing side, Harvard had hoped to provoke discussion across party lines in a campus setting that would keep hyperpartisanship at bay.
Others on the visiting fellows roster include: Sean Spicer, President Trumps former press secretary; Corey Lewandowski, Mr. Trumps former campaign manager; and, from the media world, Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski of MSNBC.
But the ivory tower ideal of the campus as an arena for the free exchange of ideas one being challenged at colleges across the country exploded over the Manning episode. And Harvard is being attacked not only by conservative commentators but by the very government-media establishment that the Kennedy School depends on and has a revolving-door relationship with.
One of the classes offered here is called From Harvard Square to the Oval Office. The dean of the school, Douglas W. Elmendorf, is the former director of the Congressional Budget Office.
Many students here intend to run for elective office some day. Others, like Mr. Pershing, who went to the University of Notre Dame and served in the Peace Corps, are creating their own areas of specialty, in his case, a combination of national security and crisis management. Many politicians and other well-known figures end up at the Institute of Politics during a pause in their careers.
Kennedy School alumni and former Institute fellows include many marquee names: Jeb Bush, the former Republican governor of Florida and unsuccessful presidential candidate; Ed Rendell, the former Democratic governor of Pennsylvania; Raymond W. Kelly, the former New York City police commissioner; and Bill OReilly, who received a masters degree from the school before becoming a top-rated host on Fox News and then losing his job in a sexual harassment scandal.
The backlash to Ms. Mannings appointment began Wednesday morning, when a news release announced her fellowship.
It billed Ms. Manning, who was Pfc. Bradley Manning in the Army, as the first transgender fellow. The release went on to describe her as a former Army intelligence analyst and advocate for queer and transgender rights. Her conviction, for leaking classified military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks, was mentioned at the end, almost parenthetically. She was released from prison this year after President Barack Obama, in his last days in office, commuted her 35-year prison sentence.
Harvard was inundated with complaints, many of them from the right. But the lid blew off on Thursday when Michael J. Morell, a deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency under Mr. Obama, resigned from his fellowship in protest, saying the invitation honors a convicted felon and leaker of classified information.
That was topped Thursday night by the current director of the C.I.A., Mike Pompeo, who did not show up at a scheduled Harvard forum and cited Ms. Mannings fellowship as the reason. Ms. Manning betrayed her country, Mr. Pompeo, who graduated from Harvard Law School, wrote to a Kennedy School official.
Just after midnight Friday, Mr. Elmendorf called Ms. Mannings team in California and said he was stripping her of the fellow title.
In an early-morning message posted on the schools website, Mr. Elmendorf said that while the university encouraged a diversity of opinions, naming Ms. Manning a fellow had been a mistake. Still, he said, he would allow her to spend a day at the school and speak at its forum.
In his lengthy and nuanced letter, Mr. Elmendorf focused on the honor that the title conferred on recipients.
I see more clearly now that many people view a visiting fellow title as an honorific, so we should weigh that consideration when offering invitations, Mr. Elmendorf wrote. He said he had struck the wrong balance between the values of academic freedom and commitment to public service.
A spokesman for the school said that it would not comment beyond Mr. Elmendorfs letter.
Ms. Manning will lose a fee of about $1,000 for being a visiting fellow, according to sources familiar with the process. As a speaker, she would not be paid.
Ms. Manning responded publicly on Twitter early Friday, writing that she was honored to be disinvited. She said the institution was chilling marginalized voices under C.I.A. pressure.
In another tweet, she said: this is what a military/police/intel state looks like the @cia determines what is and is not taught @harvard.
The revocation of her appointment brought more firestorms, both lacerating criticism as well as kudos.
At an institution where we have so many classes on moral courage and leadership, in this instance, the dean did not exercise leadership or moral courage, said Pranav Reddy, 27, a student from Cleveland who has a medical degree and is pursuing a masters degree in public policy at the Kennedy School.
The institution is kowtowing to the powers that be, he said.
The Nation magazine ripped into Mr. Pompeo, saying he bullied Harvard into throwing Chelsea Manning to the curb.
At the same time, R. Nicholas Burns, a professor of the practice of diplomacy and international relations at the Kennedy School, and a former career foreign service officer who had high-ranking positions in the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, said Mr. Elmendorf had struck the right balance. He said he had supported Hillary Clinton in the last election but believed that Ms. Manning had put foreign service diplomats, the overseas intelligence community and the military at risk by leaking documents.
Its not just conservatives who objected, Mr. Burns said.
A former longtime Republican aide on Capitol Hill, Mark Strand also characterized the invitation to Ms. Manning as a mistake. But Mr. Strand, now a resident fellow at the Institute, meaning he will spend much of the semester there, said he also believed it could become a teaching moment after all.
I think Dean Elmendorf showed a lot of courage by providing a full explanation and a thoughtful and genuine apology, Mr. Strand said. Thats unusual in politics and an important lesson for Harvard students.
AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin
by Ken Klukowski26 Aug 2017Washington, DC0
Arpaio was held in contempt of court by a federal judge for continuing his policy of enforcing immigration laws against illegal aliens. When Arpaio was sued for allegedly violating civil rights, a federal judge whose family member was representing the side suing Arpaioa conflict of interest that under federal law requires the judge to recuse himselfordered Arpaio to cease his law enforcement efforts.
When the judge later decided Arpaio was not fully complying with that order, he held Arpaio in contempt of court and referred the matter to the Obama-Lynch Justice Department for criminal prosecution. Judge Susan Boltonwho was appointed by President Barack Obamaconvicted Arpaio without a jury on July 31 of this year.
Although Arpaio is 85 years old and his wife is gravely ill, federal prosecutors from the Obama administration sought six months behind bars for the sheriff. If prosecutors had requested a single day more than six months of jail time, then the Sixth Amendment of the Constitutions Bill of Rights would have entitled Arpaio to a jury trial.
But by asking for only six months of jail time, Arpaio was denied the right for his fate to be decided by twelve Arizonans, who it is widely believed would likely have acquitted him. Instead, the aged lawmans fate was decided by a district judge, and so Arpaio faced the threat of being locked up behind bars alongside hundreds of criminals who were locked up by him.
Article II of the Constitution gives every president authority to grant pardons, commutations, and other reprieves for federal crimes. The power is unlimited, with the sole exception that a president cannot pardon a federal officer who is impeached and removed from office by Congress.
The White House statement accompanying the pardon declared of Arpaio, After more than fifty years of admirable service to our Nation, he is a worthy candidate for a Presidential pardon.
Commending President Trump for granting the pardon, Franks contrasted it to Obamas commuting the prison sentence of Bradley Manning, the transgender Army soldier convicted of one of the worst leaks of classified information in American history, giving those documents to Wikileaks for worldwide disclosure.
While no one can dispute Manning acted to undermine our countrys national security, Joe Arpaio has spent a lifetime trying to maintain it, Franks, a longtime Republican favorite of Christians and conservatives, said in his statement. Comparing the two, it is easy to discern that Arpaio is a patriot, while Manning is a traitor.
Arpaio is the victim of political assassination and a partisan prosecution, Franks concluded. It is right and just for him and his ailing wife to receive the peace of an honorable retirement.
Ken Klukowski is senior legal editor for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @kenklukowski.
Chelsea Manning, the transgender U.S. Army soldier formerly known as Pvt. Bradley Manning, spoke out about the reason shedecided to join the military in the first place but it didnt have much to do withserving thecountry.
Manning was found guilty in 2013 on charges of leaking hundreds of thousands of classified, sensitive government documents to WikiLeaks during a tour in Iraq. The day after a military court sentences Manning to 35 years in prison, she announced that she was transgender.
Manning became the first known soldierto undergo hormone treatment therapy while incarcerated. Shortly before leaving office, former President Barack Obama commuted Mannings sentence,and she was released in May 2017 after serving approximately sevenyears of a35-year sentence.
Manning, in an op-ed for Yahoo!, said that transgenderism and an ongoingbattle with sexuality were catalysts forenlisting inthe Army.
The former U.S. military analyst admitted in the Yahoo!op-ed that enrolling in the Army was all about provinga point to herself and to other people.
By the time I enrolled in the military at 20, I had spent years in denial about who I really was, Manning wrote. I was openly gay and would go through periods of cross-dressing, and had even thought about transitioning, but I was in such complete denial.
To overcompensate and because I was constantly being reminded of how inadequate I was as a male I enrolled in the military, Manningcontinued. My thought was, I must enlist and man up.’
Manning explained that the worst thing about being a pre-transition individualin the Army was young male soldiersrhetoric.
The one place I never felt at all comfortable in the military was in private circles of conversation. Theres a tendency, especially among young men, to objectify and denigrate women behind closed doors. Theyd say ridiculous, raunchy things about women call them sluts and whores, basically just treat them like objects. It was a line I just couldnt cross. Id try to avoid those kinds of macho conversations, because thats inevitably what would come up. Id get very, very distant.
Manning wrotethat she likelywould have been more successfulin her role as a U.S. military analyst if shed had the freedom to be out and argued againstthe notion that, if she hadnt been a trans soldier, the WikiLeaks incident would not have occurred.
I loved my job and I took my military career very seriously. Theres this idea out there that, had I not been trans, the leaks and stuff would never have happened. But to my mind those are two completely separate things. Had I been out, I think I still would have been attracted to the military, but I would have been more comfortable and gotten along with people better. Being closeted often put me in situations where I couldnt concentrate or even think straight.
Mannings comments on transgenderism in the militarycame just weeks after President Donald Trump proposed a ban ontransgenders serving in the U.S. military.
Trump saidin July, After consultation with my Generals and military experts, please be advised that the United States Government will not accept or allow Transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. Military. Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail. Thank you.
Trumps move to ban transgender individuals in the military came on the heels of military leaders exploring options to delay the enlistment of transgender individuals to further assess behaviors and liabilities.
Then House Democrats signed a letter to the office of Secretary of Defense James Mattis, telling the Pentagon not to comply with Trumps ban on transgenders serving in the U.S. military.
Bradley Manning, the Army private sentenced to military prison for leaking classified documents, revealed he intends to live out the remainder of his life as a woman.
I am Chelsea Manning. I am female, the Army private wrote in a statement read on TODAY Thursday. 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.
Manning, 25, was sentenced to 35 years in prison on Wednesday after having been found guilty of 20 charges ranging from espionage to theft for leaking more than 700,000 documents to the WikiLeaks website while working in Iraq in 2010.
Read Manning’s full statement
I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility), Manning continued in the statement. I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.
Manning signed the letter Chelsea E. Manning.
During his trial, Mannings defense team suggested his struggles with gender identity as a gay soldier were a factor in his decision to leak. His attorneys presented an email to a former supervisor from April 2010 in which he said he was transgender and joined the Army to get rid of it. The email, which had the subject line My Problem, also included a photo of Manning in which he is wearing a blonde wig and lipstick. During Mannings nine-month detainment at the Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., following his arrest in 2010, he sent two letters to his counselor using the name Breanna, Master Sgt. Craig Blenis testified at his trial.
Burning Questions: Can you begin a gender change in an Army prison?
“The stress that he was under was mostly to give context to what was going on at the time,” Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, told Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Thursday. “It was never an excuse because that’s not what drove his actions. What drove his actions was a strong moral compass.”
Manning will likely serve the sentence at Fort Leavenworth, the only military prison for service members sentenced to 10 or more years, a Military District of Washington spokesperson told The Associated Press.
Coombs said he is “hoping” that Fort Leavenworth “would do the right thing” and provide hormone therapy for Manning. “If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure they are forced to do so.”
The Army responded to Manning’s decision to seek hormone therapy with a statement.
“Inmates at the United States Disciplinary Barracks and Joint Regional Correctional Facility are treated equally regardless of race, rank, ethnicity or sexual orientation,” the statement reads. “All inmates are considered soldiers and are treated as such with access to mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers and behavioral science noncommissioned officers with experience in addressing the needs of military personnel in pre- and post-trial confinement.
“The Army does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender identity disorder. The USDB has implemented risk assessment protocols and safety procedures to address high risk factors identified with the Prison Rape Elimination Act.”
In the U.S. prison system, transgender prisoners who have not had genital surgery are generally assigned to live with their birth-sex peers, but the military policy is unclear.
The Army private’s statement, provided to TODAY exclusively, signed “Chelsea E. Manning.”
On whether Manning will seek sexual reassignment surgery, Coombs said “I haven’t really discussed that aspect with her. Really, it’s more about getting the hormone therapy, so at this point I don’t know the answer to that.”
Coombs told Guthrie that he expects Manning “to be out” on parole in seven years. “But I actually expect him to get pardoned,” Coombs continued. “At least that’s what my hope is, that the president will in fact pardon him.”
Coombs said he doesn’t fear for Manning’s safety in prison, and that Manning will not ask to live in a female prison. “Everyone that’s in a military prison is a first-time offender. These are soldiers who have done something wrong, have gone to prison and are really just trying to do their time and then get out.”
In the statement read on TODAY, Manning thanked her supporters. I want to thank everybody who has supported me over the last three years. Throughout this long ordeal, your letters of support and encouragement have helped keep me strong. I am forever indebted to those who wrote to me, made a donation to my defense fund, or came to watch a portion of the trial. I would especially like to thank Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network for their tireless efforts in raising awareness for my case and providing for my legal representation.
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Bradley Manning: I want to live as a woman – TODAY.com