From James Kirchick at the NYT
Excerpts: (I removed any reference to “Ms.” He’s male, not female, no matter how much lipstick or drag clothing he wears.)
The fashion world has a new darling. She’s a size 4, counts Queen Elizabeth I and Marie Antoinette as her style icons and has “a flat stomach, great legs and curvy hips,” according to Vogue.
She also happens to have perpetrated one of the greatest leaks of classified government material in American history. But that’s not the primary concern of the breathless media coverage afforded Chelsea Manning, born Bradley.
Manning is the subject of a reverent profile and Annie Leibovitz photo spread in the September issue of Vogue, the magazine’s most important edition. The author, Nathan Heller, portrays the “graceful, blue-eyed” and unapologetic former Army private traipsing across Manhattan in a Gabriela Hearst dress and Dr. Martens, dispensing fashion tips like state secrets. (“I’ve been a huge fan of Marc Jacobs for many, many years,” she says. “He captures a kind of simplicity and a kind of beauty that I like — projecting strength through femininity.”) In a separate feature, the magazine took Manning vintage shopping as she assembled her “femme Johnny Cash” look. Not since Vogue published a piece about the wife of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, “The Rose in the Desert,” for which it subsequently apologized and scrubbed from its website, has it celebrated such a morally compromised figure.
…… On Instagram, Manning certainly expresses herself emphatically, posing with her boot stomping the camera and promising to “defend against fascism by any means necessary,” the violence-endorsing slogan of the antifa movement.
……When Manning transmitted 750,000 secret military records and State Department cables to WikiLeaks in 2010, she not only jeopardized continuing missions and disrupted American diplomacy. She also put an untold number of innocent people’s lives in danger.
According to The New Yorker, when the United States tried to locate “hundreds” of Afghans named in the documents and move them to safety, “many could not be found, or were in environments too dangerous to reach.” When pressed by a journalist about the possibility of redacting the names of Afghans who cooperated with the United States military, Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, reportedly replied: “Well, they’re informants. So, if they get killed, they’ve got it coming to them. They deserve it.”
Meantime, Mr. Assange gave a Russian Holocaust denier 90,000 of the cables. That man, who goes by the pen name Israel Shamir, delivered a trove to the Belarussian dictatorship, which then utilized the material to detain opposition activists. In Zimbabwe, President Robert Mugabe used a leaked cable detailing a United States Embassy meeting with opposition figures as pretext for an investigation into “treasonous collusion.”
Yet from the moment United States military prosecutors charged Manning with violating the Espionage Act in 2010, progressives have hailed her as a folk hero. She became an even more sympathetic figure when, shortly after her sentencing three years later, she announced she was transgender and wished to be known as Chelsea. The day of her discharge from prison this May following a commutation of her sentence by Barack Obama, Laura Poitras, the activist filmmaker who assisted Edward Snowden in his leak of highly classified information, announced she would produce a film about Manning titled “XY Chelsea.” Amnesty International — an organization ostensibly committed to freeing political prisoners, not those who assist their jailers — gushed that “people power can triumph over injustice.”
More troubling than this fawning from avowed enemies of the American “security state” is Manning’s embrace by large swaths of the L.G.B.T. community. At the New York City Pride March in June, thousands cheered as Manning sat atop the American Civil Liberties Union float. While in prison, she had repeatedly been named honorary grand marshal of San Francisco’s gay pride celebration. She has also been the subject of constant, adulatory coverage in gay media.
……It would be hard to find a less convincing advocate for transgender military service than someone convicted of violating the Espionage Act. The cognitive dissonance required of L.G.B.T. activists in celebrating Manning while denouncing Donald Trump’s transgender military ban is considerable, not least in the case of Manning herself, who simultaneously condemns the ban while also tweeting that “we need to dismantle the military/police state,” without appearing to recognize the contradiction. (Manning is a prolific Tweeter whose blithe, emoji-laden missives read like the doodles of a freshman peace studies major and belie her portrayal as the moral conscience of our time.)
Manning’s enduring popularity with progressives is also puzzling given WikiLeaks’ role in the 2016 presidential campaign season, when Julian Assange and his organization acted as a conduit for the dissemination of emails pilfered from leading Democrats by Russian hackers.
……There are elements of the American left that would celebrate any leaker of government secrets, regardless of their gender identity. But it’s hard to imagine Manning receiving such a positive reception — never mind a spread in Vogue — if she still identified as Bradley, transgender being the liberal cause du jour. Manning’s atypical identity adds a frisson of subversion to her already subversive acts.
Transgender, it would appear, trumps treachery.
Manning is a fucking problem child who should have been kicked out of basic training. It took him six months to complete a normally 10-week course. That’s bullshit. He should have been discharged. He said: “I quickly realized that I was neither physically nor mentally prepared for the requirements of basic training.” No shit.
Some of the information he leaked ended up in Osama Bin Laden’s possession. Manning couldn’t have aided Bin Laden any more if he had walked up to the muzzie pig and handed over the documents in person.
He gave WikiLeaks over 700,000 battlefield reports and diplomatic cables. Any intel analyst knows that if the enemy receives classified material that reveals collection methods, sources, and operational details, it can and will harm the troops and damage national security.
The “whistleblower” moniker went along with a classified video that Manning sent to Wikileaks which purported to show U.S. Soldiers killing “innocent” Iraqis. Wikileaks forgot to mention (or show) that the Army unit was engaged in combat at the time, and taking fire from an armed enemy. One was carrying a rocket-propelled grenade launcher. Another was carrying an AK-47 assault rifle. Incidentally, two of those individuals killed were Reuters photographers who were embedded with the terrorists. Aw….Too fucking bad.
Manning is no principled “whistleblower”; he’s an egotistical attention whore, who took it upon himself to selectively divulge information—including about 260,000 classified U.S. diplomatic cables—that benefit our enemies.
Commuting the sentence of traitor Bradley Manning is typical of Barky’s malfeasance. What does anyone expect from an asshole who traded five of the worst GITMO terrorists for a deserter.
This cockholster violated his security clearance, his oath of service, and the trust placed in him by his country and the United States Army. In a perfect world, he’d be taken out and shot.