Chelsea Manning wants to change America. On Tuesday, the freed whistleblower appeared on Democracy Now! to discuss her plan with hosts Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez.
The appearance was Mannings first live television interview since President Barack Obama pardoned her in 2017. Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison in 2013 after leaking more than 700,000 documents to WikiLeaks in 2010 while serving as an Army intelligence analyst in Iraq. The leaked materialsthe largest classified data dump in United States historyincluded documents related to the Iraq War, the U.S. war in Afghanistan and diplomatic cables.
During her conversation with Goodman and Gonzalez, Manning discussed Iraq, dismantling the prison system, transgender rights, her run for a Senate seat and other topics.
Manning is running as a Democrat in the November elections, challenging senior Democrat Ben Cardin for his seat in Maryland. She explained her decision to run for political office:
You know, it wasI thought I was done. I thought, OK, like I can go home now. But I dont feel like its thisI mean, in this environment, in this place, this time that were in is what I feared when Ibecause I saw, you know, and I realized its expanded more and more, that its not just the military, its not just the intelligence community. Its notits police. Its the justice system. Its immigration. Like all these systems are overlapping, and theyre suffocating people, deliberately and methodically, over decades. And this has been a continuingyou know, like people have been building this whirling death machine of power for decades now.
And you can focus in on a particular war or a particular moment or a particular controversy, but its the overwhelming awe of the giganticness of this system that has driven me to try to fight back. And we need to startyou know, like we dont need to fix these systems, we need to stop them. We need to push back on them, whether its immigration or whether its the military or whether its the intelligence apparatus, because theyre all a part of the same system. And people are suffering. And we cant wait. We cant wait anymore. We cant wait for change.
Watch the full Democracy Now! interview with Manning in the videos below.
Eric Ortiz is the managing editor of Truthdig. A journalist and innovator with two decades in digital media, Ortiz founded the mobile app startup Evrybit, a live storytelling and reporting tool, as a 2014 John
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Chelsea Manning: We Need to Stop This ‘Death Machine of Power …
Adrian Lamo was found dead in his Kansas apartment Wednesday, March 14, 2018. (Reuters)
Adrian Lamo, the notorious computer hacker who turned in Chelsea Manning to the FBI and was arrested for hacking into The New York Times and Microsoft, has died in Kansas at age 37.
Sedgwick County spokeswoman Kate Flavin said Friday that Lamos body was at the morgue in Wichita. The Wichita Eagle reported Lamo was found dead in his apartment Wednesday.
Charley Davidson, a Wichita police officer told the media outlet there was nothing suspicious about his death. It was not immediately clear how Lamo died.
JUDGE LOCKS SELF IN COURTROOM, CAUSES $3G IN DAMAGE TRYING TO BREAK FREE: REPORT
The computer hacker was living in Wichita for about a year, his friend Lorraine Murphy told theWichita Eagle. She said she sent Lamo a message in December 2016 asking how he was and he said he was homeless in Wichita.
Adrian was always homeless or on the verge of it, Murphy said. He bounced around a great deal, for no particular reason.
She added: He was a believer in the Geographic Cure. Whatever goes wrong in your life, moving will make it better. And he knew people all over the country.
Chelsea Manning was convicted in 2013 of leaking a trove of classified documents. (Reuters)
However, Lamo did not make many friends along the way. Murphy said he often received death threats for his hacking.
Davidson said there is no indication foul play is involved in Lamos death.
RUMORED SITE OF $55M IN CIVIL WAR-ERA GOLD DRAWS FBIS ATTENTION, REPORT SAYS
Manning, who is transgender and went by Bradley at the time of her arrest, was convicted in 2013 of leaking a trove of classified documents. President Barack Obama commuted her sentence and she was released from military prison in May 2017 after serving seven years of a 35-year sentence.
Following her release,Manningannounced in January she has filed to run in Maryland for the seat of Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin.
Lamo testified that Manning contacted him because of his notoriety in the hacking community. He said the two met online after Manning read an article about Lamo,The Guardianreported.
Adrian Lamo was arrested in 2004 for hacking The New York Times and Microsoft.(Reuters)
He told the British newspaper that he thought about Manning every day.
The decision was not one I decided to make, but was thrust upon me, he said.
Lamos father, Mario, wrote a post on toFacebookmourning the death of his son.
With great sadness and a broken heart I have to let know all of Adrians friends and acquaintances [sic] that he is dead. A bright mind and compassionate soul is gone, he was my beloved son.
He was convicted of computer fraud after he was arrested in 2004 for hacking The New York Times and Microsoft.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Adrian Lamo, hacker who turned in Chelsea Manning to FBI …
The Democratic primary election for Maryland governor is a wide open race for the seven candidates seeking to challenge Republican Gov. Larry Hogan in November, according to a new poll from Goucher College.
The poll also found that Sen. Ben Cardin would defeat Chelsea Manning if the election was held today, and that Democratic voters say their decisions will hinge on the issues of education, the economy and employment.
The Goucher Poll surveyed 409 Maryland Democratic primary voters from Feb. 12-18 and has a margin of error of 4.8 percent.
Among its findings:
Prince Georges County Executive Rushern L. Baker III had a higher favorable rating 30 percent than former NAACP President Ben Jealous (28 percent) and Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz (22 percent). If the June 26 primary election were held now, 19 percent of respondents said they would vote for Baker, 12 percent would favor Kamenetz and 10 percent would support Jealous.
Our poll suggests that Democratic voters have yet to turn their full attention to the gubernatorial race, said Mileah Kromer, director of the Sarah T. Hughes Field Politics Center. With so many undecided voters, there is ample time and room for the field to shift even dramatically.
Lesser-known candidates, she added, need to increase their name recognition soon or this primary could become a three-way race.
Other Democratic candidates for the primary include: Baltimore lawyer Jim Shea, state Sen. Richard S. Madaleno Jr., entrepreneur Alec Ross, and former Michelle Obama adviser Krish Vignarajah.
In the Senate race, the poll showed that 64 percent of respondents held a favorable opinion of Cardin while 91 percent either had no opinion or an unfavorable one of Manning, the transgender Maryland woman convicted of sharing thousands of military documents with Wikileaks.
In the head-to-head match up, about six in ten respondents said they back Cardin compared with 17 percent for Manning and 19 percent who said they dont know.
Democratic voters who participated in the poll said that education was the most important issue influencing their decisions. The economy and jobs was the second most critical issue, followed by racial and social justice and health care.
As for ideology, 44 percent of Democrats questioned for the poll described themselves as progressive, while 43 percent said they were moderate. Another 10 percent said they were conservative, according to the poll.
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Poll: Chelsea Manning unlikely to defeat Ben Cardin …
When Chelsea Manning leaked hundreds of thousands of military and diplomatic documents to the anti-secrecy site WikiLeaks eight years ago, she said she hoped the decision would provoke a debate about U.S. foreign policy.
Now the 30-year-old transgender woman, running for the Democratic nomination for Senate in Maryland, says there is another urgent discussion voters must face: How a burgeoning military apparatus is gradually creeping into domestic life in places like Baltimore.
Many of the weapons that we were using in Iraq and Afghanistan have found their way to our streets, and many people who are veterans and have military training are bringing this military training to police forces, the former Army intelligence analyst said.
Mannings celebrity has the potential to reshape Marylands Senate race, where incumbent Sen. Ben Cardin remains favored to win a third term. Even Cardin, a Democrat, has acknowledged that Mannings candidacy has sparked a wave of national media attention in the June 26 primary election.
Mannings name is arguably as well known in the state as any politicians. And she has the potential to build a national fundraising network of young, liberal voters who are ascendant in the Democratic Party after President Donald Trumps upset win. Trumps unorthodox campaign, meanwhile, has thrown into question conventional thinking about the viability of first-time candidates.
Still, Manning faces a high hurdle in a state that has traditionally rejected insurgents. In 2016, Maryland heavily favored Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination over Bernie Sanders. That same year, Democratic voters picked Chris Van Hollen for Senate over Donna Edwards, a former congresswoman who, like Manning, tried to paint her opponent as an insider whose progressive credentials are shaky.
Its not yet clear whether Manning can overcome those challenges. Asked if she has hired anyone who has worked in a statewide campaign, she said she is interviewing potential staff now. On fundraising, Manning said we dont want to raise millions. She said she has no intention of running television ads, but plans to rely on other methods to reach voters.
I cant stand watching campaign ads, she said. We dont need to go to these old-media methods.
While that approach is undoubtedly appealing to some on an ideological level, campaign veterans say it will make it much harder for her take on an incumbent.
If she was putting together a real campaign team with a real fundraising operation and real professionals, then I think this might be different, said Justin Schall, a Democratic consultant who has worked with several campaigns in Maryland. This feels like someone who really enjoyed her 15 minutes of fame and is looking for some more attention, particularly from the national media.
Cardin a former congressman elected to the Senate in 2006 has raised $3.5 million since early 2017. Forty-five percent of Maryland voters approved of his performance in a Goucher Poll last year. Twenty-one percent disapproved and roughly a third who werent sure.
Manning isnt shy about taking on Cardin directly. She describes his career as unremarkable, and has criticized legislation he authored last year that the ACLU and other groups oppose, arguing it would criminalize boycotts targeting Israel. She said Cardin has not been aggressive enough in restraining immigration enforcement, or in calling for criminal justice reforms.
He’s old hat, Manning said of Cardin, who is 74. He’s kept this establishment going.
Cardins campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
To address crime in Baltimore, Manning favors reducing the police presence. She points to the growing use by police across the country of military-style equipment and tactics.
Police presence creates violence, and it creates a more intense environment in communities, she said.
Like Sanders, she supports free college tuition and health care for all comers which she said she would pay for by scaling back the military. She breaks with Democratic orthodoxy by suggesting the partys historic focus on jobs is overblown, and said she instead favors the idea of a universal basic income, in which everyone receives some level of income from the government.
Manning offers that idea as a contrast to a federal job guarantee, a concept that has reemerged in some liberal circles in which everyone would be entitled to a government job. Both ideas are discussed in the context of an economy that is increasingly moving toward automation.
I think we need to transition away from this idea that everybody needs to have a job, Manning said. I dont think that creating more jobs that are pointless in an automated society is necessarily the solution.
So far, Manning does not appear to have connected with the states progressive leaders. One of those leaders, former state lawmaker and 2014 gubernatorial candidate Heather Mizeur, said she had not heard from Manning.
It feels more like a statement candidacy than an actual campaign, Mizeur said. I dont sense an appetite to find an alternative [to Cardin] in the primary.
Manning grew up as Bradley Manning in Oklahoma into a family described in court testimony as troubled. As her home life deteriorated, she moved to Chicago, worked odd jobs and wound up sleeping in her car. An aunt in Potomac found Manning in 2006 and invited her to live with her, providing an oasis of stability.
When Manning decided she wanted to run for office, she said, there was never doubt she would do so in Maryland.
This is the place that I have the strongest roots and ties to out of anywhere else, Manning said from the living room of her modern apartment in North Bethesda.
She studied mathematics at Montgomery College in the hope of transferring the credits and earn a degree in physics. Though her life improved, it was still difficult. She worked 70 hours a week in retail jobs as she began to wrestle with her gender identity. Encouraged by her father, a former Navy intelligence analyst, she concluded that the Army would offer a measure of stability.
She enlisted in 2007, and was deployed to Iraq.
It was there that Manning gained access to classified computer networks. In early 2010, she downloaded hundreds of thousands of documents diplomatic cables, war logs and gunsight video of a 2007 U.S. helicopter attack that killed Iraqi civilians. She eventually gave the documents to WikiLeaks.
Manning was tried by court martial at Fort Meade in 2013, convicted of espionage, theft and disobeying orders, and sentenced to 35 years. President Barack Obama commuted the sentence in the final days of his presidency.
She was released in May and is continuing to appeal the conviction.
Manning, who said she now earns a living through speaking engagements, said she doesnt believe her decision then will hurt her chances now, even in a state like Maryland that is heavily tied to the military and federal government. She hopes those who work for federal agencies many of whom she describes as afraid to speak out about internal concerns will applaud the move.
The values that I had whenever I did these things are the same values that I bring to the table now, Manning said. Im willing to put myself out there. Im willing to make tough, hard calls and face the consequences for that.
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Is Chelsea Manning’s Senate campaign for real? ‘Im …
Chelsea Manning, whose 35-year prison sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama during his final days in office, has remained an outspoken activist. | Bryan Bedder/Getty Images for OUT Magazine
By BRENT D. GRIFFITHS
01/13/2018 04:51 PM EST
Updated 01/14/2018 12:21 PM EST
Chelsea Manning, a transgender woman who was convicted in 2013 of leaking thousands of classified documents to WikiLeaks, has filed paperwork to run for the U.S. Senate in Maryland.
Manning, whose 35-year prison sentence was commuted by President Barack Obama during his final days in office, has remained an outspoken activist on intelligence and transgender-rights issues. Her case remains deeply controversial, particularly among conservatives, who criticized Obama’s decision.
Story Continued Below
Manning would be a primary challenger to Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.), the ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Cardin has served two terms in the Senate and served two decades in the House. He won reelection in 2012 by just over 30 points.
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President Donald Trump has called Manning an “ungrateful traitor.”
On Sunday, Manning officially announced her campaign with an ad featuring scenes of Manning in Maryland interspersed with images of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville and protesters clashing with police.
“We need to stop expecting that our systems will somehow fix themselves,” she said. “We need to actually take the reins of power from them.”
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Chelsea Manning files for U.S. Senate run – POLITICO
When whistleblower Chelsea Manning was released from prison last May, I penned an essay for The Verge titled One of Us about how she had become a hero, even a saintly figure to many trans women in particular. It was a testament to her courage and dignity amid Kafkaesque injustice, something I still admire in Manning. Many of us on the political left, desperate for a heroine in difficult times, were eager to put Manning on a pedestal elevating her to the sort of suffocating heights that almost inevitably precede a fall. Looking back on it now, it revealed a lot about the accelerant of social media, race, and gender, and how all three intersect with cults of celebrity.
Ive been reflecting on this a lot since the recent revelations that Manning had spent time with members of the white supremacist alt-right including sharing an escape room experience and visiting ones home to play board games. Her questionable fraternizing became public knowledge after she tweeted that she had crashed an alt-right party celebrating the first anniversary of Trumps presidency, because she had learned in prison that the best way to confront your enemies is face-to-face in their space. But critics quickly noted that this confrontation had not seemed very confrontational, and she had been photographed laughing, drink in hand, with Gavin McInnes, the founder of the white nationalist youth gang The Proud Boys. Even Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Mike Cernovich claimed that he and Manning had shaken hands at the event.
In response to the immediate backlash including accusations that she was a turncoat Manning spoke with The Daily Beast, insisting she was not socializing but instead gathering intelligence on the extreme right (a tactic sometimes used by anti-fascist activists). I viewed this as an opportunity to use the celebrity and fame Ive gotten since getting out of prison to gather information and to ultimately find ways in which we who are against the alt-right can undermine the alt-right, she told The Daily Beast.
The reaction to this was as complex as it was furious and fiercely polarizing, shattering the fragile coalition of enthusiastic leftists and respectful but lukewarm liberals whose support Manning had enjoyed. Many queer women of color, myself included, were furious with Manning for her navet in engaging with white nationalists as a celebrity. White trans women radicals, meanwhile, by and large, closed ranks around her, insisting she had done nothing wrong and was, rather, a tactical genius. Many trans veterans, who never liked Manning to begin with, are crowing. Many mainstream liberals, including erstwhile supporters, have thrown her overboard entirely. Conspiracy theorists like Louise Mensch have argued Manning must be a Russian agent.
After a week, Manning herself seemed worn down by the fury:
But the fiascos implications go beyond Manning to the dissociative effects of hero worship, especially on social media; how they turn people into icons and symbols who are not permitted to be fully human, particularly when theyre asked to carry the unbearable weight of an oppressed communitys hopes and dreams.
When I wrote One of Us, Manning had just been released; I wanted to celebrate her new lease on life, and all I wished it could offer her.
The greatest gift we could give her is the ordinariness that is normally accorded to anonymity among the masses, a sense that she is not a holy woman whose every appendage is an icon to be treasured in some reliquary. One of us will have to mean something Chelsea Manning can rest in, can be herself in, can be flawed and silly in. Thats what she deserves, and it is what I hope to play some small part in giving her.
Instead, Manning underwent an apotheosis. But if we made her into an angel, blessing us all with her emoji-sprinkled tweets, it was because so many others cast her as a demon. This polarization was yet another variation on the ancient tug of war between Madonna and Devil that governs the image of all women; neither image is human, neither can contain our failures. For trans women, theres added pressure. Were disordered and diseased in the minds of some, fit only to be criminalized and institutionalized. The idealization of our luminaries can be more intense precisely because they radiate proof against such bigotry. They have to carry not just the weight of celebrity, but the image of an entire community that treats them as an emissary to a hostile world.
Social media only magnifies this objectification. At a certain level of fame, people become memetic ideas and symbols, content to be consumed, rather than fallible human beings. This isnt a new phenomenon for celebrities, but as with so much else, the internet democratizes this impulse and accelerates it to light speed. Every time we built Manning up as an icon with every like, every meme, every beatific tweet about how she could do no wrong we ensured that her inevitable fall would be that much more painful. Aided by social media, her Biblical arc, from Creation to Fall, only took eight months.
Ill never forget the furious reaction in some corners of the trans community when actress Laverne Cox repudiated a video where she read a letter from an incarcerated trans woman. Although she had intended to highlight the horrific conditions many trans people experience during incarceration, she later learned that the letter-writer had been convicted of the 1993 rape and murder of a child. One white trans man, a prominent figure in the small world of trans professionals, scorned her loudly and publicly for this decision. In his mind, she had caved to a pressure campaign from reactionary groups that wanted to tar all trans people as criminal and pedophilic. How can we ever trust Cox again? he thundered.
I remember feeling a bit put off by the mans fury. Why were you trusting her at all? I wondered. I reserve trust for friends and loved ones. Celebrities are merely people whose actions I have opinions about. But it hit on a critical dynamic in marginalized communities where our exemplars are not just seen as successful people, but avatars of our hopes and dreams, with expansive responsibilities to their community. We invest trust in them to stand for us because theyre one of us, a symbolic role that asks one person to contain all our humanities, with little room left for that of the host.
There is nothing to suggest Mannings radical convictions are anything less than sincere, but her actions were devastatingly naive. Nor was there much to be gained from her reconnaissance, per her reflections at The Daily Beast, save that [alt-right personalities] dont actually believe the things that they say. I just feel theyre opportunists and that they exploit their Twitter followers fears. This is likely true, but also not very pertinent. Alt-right extremists often use the intimation that theyre just kidding or trolling to slither out of being held accountable for their actions, as a leaked copy of the style guide for the neo-Nazi website The Daily Stormer makes painfully clear. Whether a mouthpiece believes what he says is irrelevant, their fans do believe it, and therein lies the harm.
Also, at the risk of stating the obvious, rule one of spying is that no one knows who you are. Leftist infiltration of fascist movements is a time-honored tradition, but such functions are best performed by activists who are not public figures; its not a job for the face of the movement.
On the night of the revelations, it was Mannings celebrity that opened the door for the alt-right to have a social media field day, alternately spreading transphobic abuse and loudly declaring that Mannings operation proved they werent hateful bigots after all. (We treated her well and didnt call her a man!) It was an embarrassing, easily avoided spectacle that created a massive headache for everyone in LGBT and radical politics. And, regardless of her intentions, she hurt people who looked up to her. As mistakes go, hanging out with extreme nationalists is quite severe.
What might lead her to take such a path? Her personality, celebrity, and prior incarceration may all have played roles. Celebrity culture can seduce a person into a lonely, distorted feeling of indispensability. When Manning saw the terrorism summoned by the alt-right and their Nazi allies at Charlottesville she felt she needed to do something; when she devised a plan, she carried it out alone. She left the network behind. In RPG terms, she split the party.
Had Manning stepped back and truly assessed her role as a node in a network, she might have realized that she could not do this alone, that there were a variety of jobs to be done, and that she was better suited to rallying people than personally infiltrating extremist groups.
And fame can be disorienting even without the utterly dehumanizing and stultifying effects of incarceration; Manning endured seven years of imprisonment, which totally disconnected her from the rapidly evolving online discourse around the extreme right. The 24/7 news stream of communication and debate those of us on the outside were taking for granted was denied to her. Then, suddenly, she was assigned a place of leadership in a world that was very different from the one she had left behind.
The thing people need to understand about Chelsea is shes still adapting to her role as a celebrity after years and years of being a prisoner and a soldier, a source close to Manning told me. Shes a human being and she struggles just like everyone else, but she also sees how high the stakes have become and feels like she cant just sit around while things get worse.
And yet, is dont hang out with fascists and let them use you really such a hyper-new norm in political discourse? For many queer women of color, it seemed there was an additional factor that could help explain the debacle idealistic white privilege gone awry. If you arent in a racial or ethnic group targeted by the extreme right, its a lot easier to indulge a certain innocence about the sheer depravity of these sorts of extremists. For the rest of us, knowing what theyre really about, and why you cant play nice with them, is drilled into us from birth.
I think Chelsea made a colossal error of judgment, not that shes a secret white supremacist, said Angela (a pseudonym), a trans woman of color and a prominent community organizer. She saw evil, decided she had to do something about it, and then rushed in Like a lot of young white radicals, she just didnt think the implications and consequences through. I do think the alt-righters were definitely trying to recruit her, or, failing that, wreck her credibility, and she played right into their hands poor judgment that did real harm.
Manning admitted as much, telling The Daily Beast, regardless of good intentions, I leveraged my privilege to gain access to spaces others couldnt dream of entering safely. Giving a propaganda tool to the extreme right, of course, is difficult to forgive for those of us whom they want to peacefully ethnically cleanse.
Still, there have been no shortage of defenders insisting that Manning did nothing wrong. When the photo of Manning at the escape room surfaced, for example, some leftists called it a terrible photoshop. It was later confirmed by The Guardian and Manning herself to be genuine. While its critical to stand with her against the deluge of transphobia that has been unleashed on her in the aftermath or the fatuous claims that shes a traitor or a Russian agent Manning is poorly served by enablers who insist that there was nothing for her to be sorry about.
She is not a demon beyond forgiveness; shes a person. But that means that she has to accept and learn from her mistakes. Those of us who support her, in turn, should also think critically about our own need to build up our heroes into infallible paragons. If she is to grow as a thinker and activist then she needs constructive critique from her fellow radicals, not a fantasy of infallibility.
I am not exempt from this reckoning. Was my own Manning essay hero-worship? Did I contribute to all those Chelsea is perfect memes that blossomed on Twitter? If Im honest, yes. Despite what I wrote at the end of One of Us, I knew she wouldnt retreat to happy obscurity and I was secretly glad she didnt. It felt like the trans community needed an angel of radical hope in the age of Trumps aggressive attacks on our humanity. But her canonization had consequences; were experiencing them now.
The way out of this wilderness is, as always, to keep the flawed humanity of heroes foremost in our minds. We can look up to them as role models, perhaps, and celebrate their successes, but it is too much to ask that we trust them or treat them as extensions of ourselves. The arms-length approach to activist celebrity now seems like the best model for all varieties of fame, one where a prominent figure is respected but never treated as familial or deific.
To do otherwise, I now realize, is to set ourselves up for a lifetime of little treasons. How else does one feel when a jealously guarded possession seems to rebel? I know I held so very tightly to my heroes adult-sized teddy bears to cling to during political storms but this is untenable, and unfair. To myself, to my community, and to them.
In the end, I can only speak for myself when I say this: Chelsea, I forgive you, and I let you go.
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We need to talk about Chelsea Manning – The Verge
U.S. Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning delivered hundreds of thousands of classified documents that he found troubling to WikiLeaks, and in 2013 was sentenced to 35 years in prison for espionage and theft. In 2014, Manning, who is transgender, was granted the right to be legally recognized as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. President Barack Obama commuted her sentence and she was released from prison in 2017.
Bradley Manning was born on December 17, 1987. Years later, the Crescent, Oklahoma native, who is transgender,was granted the right to be legally recognized as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.After joining the Army and enduring harsh bullying, Manning was sent to Iraq in 2009. There she had access to classified information that she described as profoundly troubling. Manning gave much of this information to WikiLeaks and was later arrested after her actions were reported to the U.S. government by a hacker confidant.
On July 30, 2013, Manning was found guilty of espionage and theft, but not guilty of aiding the enemy. In August 2013, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Serving time in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, Manning was able to receive hormone treatments, although she has faced other restrictions around gender expression. On January 17, 2017, President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s remaining sentence, and she was released from prison on May 17, 2017.
Bradley Manning was born in Crescent, Oklahoma on December 17, 1987. Years later, Manning announced that she is transgender and hence would be legally recognized as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning.
As a child, Manning was highly intelligent and showed an affinity for computers. Though presenting as a boy during her youth, Manning dressed as a girl at times in private, feeling profoundly alienated and fearful about her secret. She was bullied at school and her mother also attempted suicide at one point. (Her father would later paint a more stable picture of the household.)
After her parents split, Manning lived during her teens with her motherin Wales, where she was also bullied by peers. She eventually moved back to the United States to live with her stepmother and father, who was a former soldier. There the family had major clashes after Manning lost a tech job, and at one point Manning’s stepmother called the police after a particularly volatile confrontation. The young Manning was then homeless, living in a pickup truck for a time and eventually moving in with her paternal aunt.
Manning joined the Army in 2007 at the behest of her father, girded by thoughts of serving her country and believing that a military environment might mitigate her desire to exist openly as a woman. She was initially the target of severe bullying there as well, and the besieged, emotionally suffering Manning lashed out at superior officers. But her posting at Fort Drum in New York had some happy moments. She began dating Tyler Watkins, a Brandeis University student who introduced Manning to Boston’s hacker community.
A U.S. Army photo of Bradley Manning. (Photo: By United States Army [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
In 2009, Manning was stationed at Forward Operating Base Hammer in Iraq, an isolated site near the Iranian border. Her duties as an intelligence analyst there gave her access to a great deal of classified information. Some of this informationincluding videos that showed unarmed civilians being shot at and killedhorrified Manning.
Manning reportedly made her first contact with Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks in November 2009 after having made attempts to contact The New York Times and TheWashington Post. While at work in Iraq, she proceeded to amass information that included war logs about the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, private cables from the State Department and assessments of Guantnamo prisoners. In February 2010, while on leave in Rockville, Maryland, she passed this informationwhich amounted to hundreds of thousands of documents, many of them classifiedto WikiLeaks. In April, the organization released a video that showed a helicopter crew shooting at civilians after having confused a telephoto lens for weaponry. Releases of other information continued throughout the year.
Upon her return to Iraq, Manning had behavioral issues that included attacking an officer. She was demoted and told she would be discharged. Manning subsequently reached out to a stranger online, hacker Adrian Lamo. Using the screen name “bradass87,” Manning confided in Lamo about the leaks. Lamo contacted the Defense Department about what he had learned, which led to Manning’s arrest in May 2010.
Manning was first imprisoned in Kuwait, where she became suicidal. After returning to the United States, she was moved to a Marine base in Virginia. Manning was kept in solitary confinement for most of her time there, and was unable to leave her small, windowless cell for 23 hours each day. Deemed a suicide risk, she was watched over constantly, sometimes kept naked in her cell and not permitted to have a pillow or sheets.
Even when a psychiatrist said that Manning was no longer a danger to herself, the conditions of her imprisonment did not improve. When word of these conditions spread, there was an international outcry. Manning was transferred to Fort Leavenworth in Kansas in 2011, where she was allowed to have personal effects in a windowed cell. In January 2013, the judge in Manning’s case ruled that her imprisonment had been unduly harsh and gave her a sentencing credit.
In June 2010,Manning was charged with leaking classified information. In March 2011, additional charges were added. These included the accusation of aiding the enemy, as the information Manning had leaked had been accessible to Al-Qaeda.
In February 2013, Manning pleaded guilty to storing and leaking military information. She explained that her actions had been intended to encourage debate, not harm the United States. She continued to plead not guilty to several other charges while her court martial proceeded. On July 30, Manning was found guilty of 20 counts, including espionage, theft and computer fraud. However, the judge ruled she was not guilty of aiding the enemy, the most serious charge Manning had faced.
On August 21, 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison.Manning was dishonorably discharged, reduced in rank and forced to forfeit all pay.
The Obama administrationmaintained that military and diplomatic sources were endangered by Manning’s leaks. Even with Manning’s conviction, the debate continues as to whether she shared dangerous intelligence or if she was a whistleblower who received too harsh of a punishment.
On the day after her sentencing, Manning announced via a statement on the morning talk showTodaythat she is transgender. “As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. 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,” Manning said.
How Chelsea Manning sees herself. By Alicia Neal, in cooperation with Chelsea herself, commissioned by the Chelsea Manning Support Network, April 23. 2014. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
After filing a court petition, Manning was granted the right in late April of 2014 to be legally recognized as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. The army made hormone therapy available to the former intelligence analyst, who continued to be held at Fort Leavenworth, though other restrictions were imposed, including measures on hair length. During the summer of 2015, Manning was reportedly threatened with solitary confinement for prison rule violations that her attorneys asserted were veiled forms of harassment by authorities.
In May 2016, Manning’s attorneys filed an appeal of her conviction and 35-year sentence stating that No whistleblower in American history has been sentenced this harshly, and describing the sentence as “perhaps the most unjust sentence in the history of the military justice system.
On July 5, 2016, Manning was hospitalized aftera suicide attempt. She faced a disciplinary hearing related to her suicide attempt and was sentenced to solitary confinement. OnOctober 4, 2016, while spendingthe first night in solitary confinement, she attempted suicide again.
Support for her release continued to grow and in the waning days of President Barack Obama’s presidency, 117,000 people signed a petition asking him to commute her sentence. On January 17, 2017, Obama did just that, cutting shortManning’s remaining prison sentence, which allowed her to be freed on May 17, 2017. (An administration official said she was not immediately released in order to allow for time to handle items like procuring housing.) Manning served seven years of the 35-year sentence, with some Republicans, including Speaker of the HousePaul Ryan, critiquing the act of clemency.
Manning has shared her perspectives on gender identity, imprisonment and political affairs via a series of columns written for The Guardian. Four months after her release from prison, Manning appeared in the September 2017 issue of Vogue magazine, featuring photographs by Annie Liebovitz. Manning posted a photograph from the article, in which she is wearing a red bathing suit on the beach, writing: Guess this is what freedom looks like.
My goal is to use these next six months to figure out where I want to go, Manning explained in the Vogue interview. I have these values that I can connect with: responsibility, compassion. Those are really foundational for me. Do and say and be who you are because, no matter what happens, you are loved unconditionally.
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Chelsea Manning – – Biography
For one thing, its harder for U.S. law enforcement to search. That may matter to the Wikileaks contributor-turned-U.S. Senate candidate.
Chelsea Manning, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate for Maryland, Wikileaks contributor, and felon, registered a campaign web address that connects to a computer in Iceland. One potential explanation: putting data on a server overseas can help you hide it fromauthorities.
When Mannings campaign committee registered with the Federal Election Commission on Jan. 16, it listed the official website as xyChelsea.is. A quick domain-name lookup shows that it connects to a computer (IP 220.127.116.11 in Iceland. Theres nothing illegal in that. But it might matter if Manning tries to evade a warrant for data stored on thatcomputer.
Manning did not reply to multiple requests for comment, so its difficult to say why her campaign elected to go with a server in Iceland. But one possible explanation rests the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, or ECPA, which describes how law enforcement agencies may obtain data for investigatory purposes. Last year, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that data incomputers that arent on U.S. soil are not subject towarrants.
The ruling emerged from a 2013 drug-trafficking case in which the government had a warrant for emails held by Microsoft. The company argued that because the relevant servers were physically in Ireland, the data they held was beyond the reach of U.S. law enforcement. The circuit court agreed, but it was a split 4-4 decision. In October, the U.S. Supreme Court announced that they would hear the case; theyll begin hearing arguments next month.
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For now, data thats stored in computers in countries, like Iceland, that are not party to the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, is beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. law enforcement, even via warrant and even when the data was created in the UnitedStates.
How abnormal is this? We did a quick lookup of a handful of different U.S. senate campaign websites and found them registered to computers that are located in the United States. But there can be more to offshoring campaign data than a simple DNS lookup shows. In 2016, attorney and open-source developer Ben Balter took a look at the campaign websites for a number of presidential candidates. While all of them were registered to computers that were nominally attached to the United States, several were using hosting or the web services of companies that sometimes store client and user data in overseas computers. These include companies such as Microsoft, Amazon, and CloudFlare, which may make origin detection difficult in general, hesays.
The Supreme Courts eventual ruling on the Microsoft case may affect how such companies not to mention Chelsea Manning comply with law enforcement requests andwarrants.
Maryland senate candidate and formerly imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning came under intense criticism for attending the A Night for Freedom party at the nightclub FREQ NYC hosted by right wing leader Mike Cernovich who infamously propagated the Pizzagate conspiracy theory.
Manning claims she was acting as a double agent, trying infiltrate the alt-right world to gain insight into their plans for rallies, get togethers, and general political strategy. Her, at times convoluted, explanation for why she was featured in multiple photos and social gatherings with the whos who of the alt-right, was told exclusively to The Daily Beast.
According to Manning, her connection with right wing social media leaders began in autumn of last year when she first got in touch with Gateway Pundit writer Cassandra Fairbanks over Twitter DMs during the No Hate in the Bay demonstration in Berkeley.
The demonstration took place in late September and, according to Manning, she was compelled to get more involved in direct anti-fascist action in the wake of white supremacist-led violence in Charlottesville that left a peaceful counter-protester dead.
Charlottesville was a wakeup call for me, said Manning, who at the time was just starting to rebuild her life after her release from prison. I saw how these people will actually kill us, and we need to do something about it. I felt like I hadnt done enough. I just cant sit and watch everything get worse.
Mannings solution was to use her fame and celebrity to integrate with an admirer who had connections with several alt-right social media personalities. Enter Fairbanks.
Shes most known for her very public shift from being a diehard Bernie Sanders supporter to a dedicated and vocal Trump influencer who was once on Kremlin payroll as a writer at Russian state propaganda outlet Sputnik. She now has close ties to many D.C.-area alt-right media influencers. Manning disclosed to The Daily Beast that she was aware of Fairbanks history before deciding to develop her as a potential source of information. According to Manning, who received military intelligence training in her time in the Army, a friendship with Fairbanks was never her intent.
Manning had given an impromptu speech at the demonstration in the Bay Area and found herself on the opposite side of countering protests from Fairbanks, who had previously sent Manning personal letters through the support group who was assisting her when she was in federal prison.
We ended up sitting down and having coffee said Manning, who said they met at a Starbucks in Silver Spring, Maryland a few weeks after the Bay Area demonstration. Reached through Twitter, Fairbanks confirmed the meeting.
After we started talking I realized that she kept on telling me things about the alt-right and what was going on… I made it clear that I disagree with many of her positions politically, but she just continued to talk to me and even tell me things in confidence that quite frankly surprised me at first.
For Manning, it was the first glimpse at whether or not she might be able to get access to sensitive information within the alt-rights media wing.
A week or two after coffee with Fairbanks, Manning said the Trump supporter invited her to go to Escape the Room with friends.
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She didnt tell me who her friends were, [and] I didnt really ask. I weighed [being seen in public with Fairbanks] for a few hours, actually, before responding, said Manning.
But after thinking about it, she decided that deepening trust with Fairbanks and her friends outweighed the potential risk of appearing to associate with Fairbanks or other alt-right media figures.
I viewed this as an opportunity to use the celebrity and fame Ive gotten since getting out of prison to gather information and to ultimately find ways in which we who are against the alt-right can undermine the alt-right, she said.
Manning said that when she first arrived at Escape the Room, she immediately recognized several of the others in her group, which, according to the recently uncovered photo, included pro-Trump conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec, and Gateway Pundit White House Correspondent Lucian Wintrich. At that point, Manning said she decided to double down on her decision to hunt for information on the alt-rights dealings. During the outing itself she said politics werent discussed at all within the group and that the general tone was muted and awkward. Manning noted that keeping a cool exterior was a difficult and uncomfortable prospect for her knowing who they were and the various things they were willing to say and do in public. An hour after meeting these people, this photo was being taken, she said, noting thatits customary to have a photo taken as a group after the Escape the Room activity is completed.
That wasnt the last time she hung out casually with the group.
About a month later, Manning disclosed that she also spent a December evening drinking and playing Cards Against Humanity at the Wintrichs apartment with Fairbanks and several other people she didnt recognize. (It should be noted that Manning disclosed this to The Daily Beast before Wintrich tweeted photos of Manning from that night Wednesday afternoon.)
Throughout the evening, the group discussed some inside baseball on what was happening at the time with Steve Bannon and the White House, defending Mike Flynn as accepted a plea deal in the Mueller Russia probe, and generally mocking right wing troll Milo Yiannopoulos, who they knew personally, including revealing very personal details that arent publicly available. The thing in all this that Ive learned is that they dont actually believe the things that they say. I just feel theyre opportunists and that they exploit their Twitter followers fears, said Manning.
The idea that Manning might have established relationships with alt-right media figures to gain insight into their plans isnt as far fetched as it seems at first blush. According to a Charlottesville organizer who was connected to The Daily Beast from Mannings team who spoke on the condition of anonymity, one of the foundational goals of anti-fascist organizing is to gather intelligence into the activity of fascists and the alt-right.
Infiltrating leadership gets you access to all sorts of information, from plans to whos coming, what their intentions are and a lot of of that is really critical to keeping people safe,the organizer said.
The weekend of January 20, on the night of the Mike Cernovich alt-right cocktail party in New York City, Manning said it was time to out herself as a spy and to confront those in attendance on their own ground. She made it clear that she did not have a ticket to the event and that she did not pay for a ticket, but that Fairbanks helped her get into the event and get a wristband.. When reached for verification, Fairbanks confirmed that Manning didnt pay for her own ticket but did state that an extra ticket was given to her by Cernovich to give to Manning and once inside, she was able to procure a VIP wristband for Manning.
Mannings goal was use her celebrity to access the party to confront the alt- right VIPs on hand by making her presence felt in opposition, even if she wasnt necessarily planning on making a scene inside before joining the anti-fascist protest assembling outside.
The far right party was headlined by a speech by VICE co-founder Gavin McInnes, who also founded the hostile far right wing mens group the Proud Boys, in which he mocked transgender women like Manning and men who are attracted to them. Previous reporting in Mic stated that Manning couldnt have witnessed McInnes transphobic rant because she was in another room, and Fairbanks confirmed Mics report to The Daily Beast. However, its an account which Manning disputes, saying that though she couldnt see who was speaking, the event was held in one large room and she had no issues hearing the speech.
There was a panel as I walked in and one of the people on the panel was actually making a transphobic rant. You know, this was the environment I was walking into, said Manning. I made it clear that Im here because Im not going to back down, Im not going to hide, Im not afraid, I will fight you I view my presence in this event as a form of protest in and of itself because they would never allow somebody like me into a place like that.
When pushed on the fact that she was, in fact, freely let in to the event, Manning explained, I want to be clear that they let me in because they knew who I was and therefore they gave me that privilege to be there. Would they let any other trans person into that event? The answer is no.
Mannings claim that she attended the party to confront her ideological opposites flies in the face of a photo that have been released this week showing Manning with a relaxed demeanor and smiling, with drink in hand as she conversed with McInnes. According to Manning, however, the picture doesnt show how discomforting the situation was, claiming McInnes called her a cunt, and asked her what she was doing at the party. Manning said that despite the fact she was caught off guard, she forced a smile and quipped back, Im here with my friends [the protesters] outside.
Fairbanks said that she did not witness McInnes calling Manning any slurs.
In the end, Manning estimates that she was inside for about forty five minutes before emerging to join the protesters outside, who by that point had surrounded the entire building. She said she met up with a protest marshall and relayed several bits of useful of information, including the number of people inside, the general mood, what people inside were talking about, and whether they were planning any after parties.
A protester who wishes remain anonymous for fear of alt-right retaliation confirmed to The Daily Beast that Manning had indicated her intent to join the protest afterwards before she had entered the party with Fairbanks.
Because she doesnt have Twitter access on her phone, she was unaware of the controversy that started when Buzzfeed reporters Charlie Warzel and Joe Bernstein tweeted about her presence at the party and then openly speculated about whether or not she cosigned on the alt-right event. And by the time Manning got back to her hotel room to tweet a selfie and a message about crashing the party, she said, the alt-right was already painting her attendance as a sign that she was sympathetic to their views and attended in the interests of bridging the left/right political divide.
The question after all is said and done is what, if anything, did Manning learn from her time in close proximity to these far right and alt-right media figures? According to her she was able to obtain some valuable information about the way they structure themselves and the structure of the alt-right itself. She also claims to have passed off valuable information to the people who could use it to counter the alt right, but refused to disclose who these people were or which, if any, organizations they might be affiliated with in the interests of safety. She was able to confirm to the Daily Beast that she obtained information on the way that the alt right social media figureheads are connected with the Richard Spencer wing of the alt right, as well as the Trump administration, supporting the links between all three groups as reported in in Michael Wolffs new book, Fire and Fury.
In the end though, its impossible to really know what was going through Mannings head as she decided to escalate her relationships with figureheads of the alt-right in order to supposedly gather intelligence on their plans. Mannings decision-making process appears nonsensical to all but the most ardently engaged in the anti-fascist movement and the whole thing has an air of impulsiveness. Though shes promised never to associate with the alt-right again, her lack of awareness of the symbol shes become to many on the left, especially within a trans community facing constant attacks from the alt-right, have left many of her supporters confused and feeling betrayed.
People have every right to be confused and hurt by this, Manning said. Regardless of good intentions, I leveraged my privilege to gain access to spaces others couldnt dream of entering safely. I never meant to hurt my supporters. No amount of information on the alt-right is worth losing the trust of my supporters.
Read more from the original source:
Chelsea Manning on Her Alt-Right Partying: I Was a Spy, Not a …