Tag: Bradley Manning

Hey Mr DJ: Un-Manning Edition

I had a couple of other ideas I was kicking around for this week’s DJ thread, but all of that got placed on the back burner when I heard on Thursday morning that perpetually judgement-challenged Assange-hole Bradley Manning wants a sex change. When he dies, his epitaph should really be: “Never Knew What Team He Was On”. It really says it all, doesn’t it?

Without further ado, I think I’ll just get on to the categories.

1. Prison Honeymoons. I think we know what this was really about evading.

2. Victory of Androgyny. The prettiest boys in music. The butchest or most asexual womyn.

3. He/She Said. Music about transvestism, sex change operations, hermaphrodites, gender confusion, and other matters.

This is NOT about homosexuals who are probably comfortable with being gay. I’m looking for gender confusion, primarily.

Iconoclast: Sweet Transvestite from The Rocky Horror Picture Show

Mississippi Yankee: Sugar Daddy by Hedwig and the Angry Inch (Great movie on this topic, since I’m doing film clips)

InsipiD: Captive Honour by Megadeth (This is becoming the Weekly Mustaine, huh?)

pfluffy: Special Needs by Placebo

Santino: Jet Boy Jet Girl by The Damned

Biggie G: Girls and Boys by Blur

Seattle Outcast: You Spin Me Round by Dead or Alive

stogy: Sexuality by KD Lang

WVR: Tear You Apart by She Wants Revenge

Manning Verdict

The story is still breaking, but it looks like Bradley Manning was just convicted of espionage but not convicted of aiding the enemy.

I know it won’t make me popular with fellow libertarians, but I think the verdict is reasonable and it’s easy to see why when you contrast his behavior against Edward Snowden. Snowden blew the whistle on very specific programs he believed were violating the Constitutional rights of Americans. Manning dumped a whole bunch of documents. Some of these contained embarrassing information or showed lousy behavior; most of it he clearly had not even reviewed. It’s one thing to break secrecy when you think our citizens’s lives are being violated; it’s another to break it just for the sake of breaking it. (You can see my take on some of the more explosive Manning allegations here).

Snowden has been careful about releasing information with compromising national security (so far). Reports that he has turned over classified info to the Chinese and Russians are unverified at this point but would obviously change the equation. But Manning dumped everything to Wikileaks and there is evidence that insufficient vetting has cost the US dearly and cost some our allies their lives.

Whatever evils you may attribute to our government, they do not make Manning’s indiscriminate leaking of classified and secret information justifiable.

However, it does not appear that he was deliberately aiding Al-Qaeda or any of our enemies. So not convicting him of the more serious charge (which would have been the Civil War) seems reasonable.

What, No Twinkie Defense?

Private Bradley Manning’s Article 32 hearing, the military’s equivalent of the preliminary hearing, where evidence is presented (not too much, btw, just enough to show cause for a trial) started last week, for a primer:

Next year the military will try both Manning and Major Hasan. Each trial will naturally have different elements since the charges are vastly different, but I am struck at the similarities of the defenses presented, or will be presented.

Much hay was made on the red flags that Hasan’s supervisors neglected or ignored, the loner who shunned normal intimacies and withdrew into his religion, the militant and Islamic Jihad leaning slideshow he used in his presentations and the “Solider of Islam” embossed on his business cards, that any competent supervisor should have connected the dots and concluded that Hasan was a ticking time bomb. That, and a predictable run at an insanity defense, worth a try.

The Manning lawyers are equally complicit at blame throwing:

A military hearing for Pfc. Bradley Manning, the Army private charged with spilling secrets to WikiLeaks, focused Sunday on why he remained entrusted with highly sensitive information after showing hostile behavior to those around him.

On the third day of the hearing at Fort Meade to determine whether Pfc. Manning will be court-martialed on 22 charges, including aiding the enemy, his defense sought to build on its case that his supervisors in the 2nd Brigade Combat Team should have seen enough red flags to suspend or revoke his access to secret information months before the leaks.

The defense has emphasized what it regards as a failure by Pfc. Manning’s closest supervisor, Sgt. First Class Paul Adkins, to suspend the intelligence security clearance after at least two fits of rage by the private during which he overturned furniture. Sgt. First Class Adkins refused to testify Sunday when called to do so for the government.

The refusal to testify by this Sgt. Adkins is very curious, more will be made of this during the actual trial. The insanity card will also be played when needed, but a new wrinkle for Manning will be the stress he endured over his sexual confusion. The defense will have two aces to play, one is gender identity:

Ellen Nakashima and Julie Tate of The Washington Post assessed Manning’s defence team’s so-called “gay soldier” defence. They summarized the defence’s portrayal of Manning as “a deeply troubled soldier struggling with issues of gender identity whose alleged leaking of classified material to WikiLeaks could have been prevented by superiors.” “By airing superiors’ failure to address Manning’s personal issues, the defense team is ‘trying to discover all the failures of the chain of command which would help them in setting up the mitigation argument for the sentencing portion of the proceeding,’

And the other ace:

The soldier accused of leaking state secrets to WikiLeaks blames stress of being gay in military’s hostile ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ era

Personally, I find the sexual confusion defense much more credible, the uncertainty of whether sucking another man’s dick sounds good to you, that would tend to cause some sleepless nights.

I’m glad that the military took the death penalty off the table early, this will focus the prosecution and help the jury in considering just the facts and coming to a proper verdict.

There is no doubt that Manning knew what he was doing and that his actions were damaging (and lethal) to a number of countries and people. He needs to do some serious time.

Wikileaks Leaks

God damn it, I just knew something like this was going to happen:

WikiLeaks on Thursday confirmed reports that it has lost control of a cache of U.S. diplomatic cables that it has been publishing in recent months, saying a security breach has led to the public disclosure of hundreds of thousands of the unredacted documents.

The website quickly sought to deflect blame for the leak of the leaked classified cables. It accused the U.K. newspaper the Guardian—which last year was WikiLeaks’ partner in publishing some of the cables—of publishing in a book a password that unlocks an encrypted file containing the unredacted cables.

Unredacted means that the names of informants and allies are out there. At this point, no one know how much damage has been done.

This is precisely what I feared. Wikileaks has been fairly reasonable up to this point in releasing cables, trying to keep people out of danger (modulo their tendency to editorialize and sensationalize). But once you release something onto the internet — as numerous sexters have found out — it never dies. It’s out there.

This is why, despite my enthusiasm for open government and my hatred of secrecy, I’ve never thought that Bradley Manning was a hero and have had trouble working up sympathy for him. The guy didn’t carefully and responsibly expose government corruption (the leaks, with a few exceptions, tend to be more embarrassing than enraging). He just dumped a bunch of documents to someone he hoped — maybe — wouldn’t be reckless.

Now there’s a real possibility that people will die over this. Was it worth it?