So it’s official…Chelsea Manning is now a free “man”. I use the term “man” loosely. It has nothing to do with the gender he now identifies with. Just because Manning decided he’s now a “woman”, changed his name to a more feminine one, that doesn’t make him a woman. Nor is he a man. The reality is Manning is a spoiled little brat that did what he did out of selfishness and a falsely perceived sense of self-entitlement.
There are many things about the Manning saga that absolutely floored me. Foremost is the fact that many look at Manning as a “hero” and a “whistleblower” for having the “courage” to bring to light the supposed “atrocities” the United States was committing at the time while fighting the war on terror. Apparently, these Manning supporters forgot that these “atrocities” were in response to the cowards that attacked this country on September 11, 2001. For those that have forgotten, in that attack close to 3,500 Americans were murdered and over 10,000 were injured. (Staff, 2010) That doesn’t account for the first responders that are now battling and dying from the hazardous environment they were exposed to as they selflessly and courageously performed their duties (unlike Manning, who selfishly performed his duties with absolute discredit). That doesn’t account for the families whose loved ones, unlike Manning, will never come home again.
I gotta hand it to this “hero” though, he’s quite cunning. The manner in which he and his supporters pulled off this whole “traitor to victim” thing is nothing short of brilliant. Manning sells out his country and is sentenced to a 35 year term. (Savage, 2017) He goes to jail and immediately states…oh by the way…I’m a girl now, my name is Chelsea…and that is how and what I will be referred to as. The absolute crazy thing about it is…it worked! Seemingly overnight, and without any question whatsoever from the media, Bradley was now Chelsea…he was now a she!
This was brilliant for a couple of reasons. First, because the media embraced Chelsea without question, Bradley faded from the spotlight. Chelsea became center stage and more importantly…recent. The “Recency Effect” is a well-established psychological phenomena. Basically, what it means is human beings are more apt to recall and remember recent information over previous information (Pam MS, n.d.). This was key because as Chelsea’s “transformation” became “the” story, people forgot about “Bradley’s” traitorous actions.
Also, once Chelsea’s “transformation” manifested itself, the issue at hand also “transformed”. Once again, cue the media! What was the issue of Manning selfishly selling out his country, the media made it into an LGBT issue! Poor Chelsea…stuck in prison…just wanting to become the woman he felt he was always supposed to be but not being allowed to! How convenient for Manning! This “transformation” enabled Manning to now be viewed as a victim instead of a traitor. Once again, this allowed the original issue at hand to fade from the spotlight.
From this point, the list of injustices continued to flow unhindered. In combination with strategically planned suicide attempts and hunger strikes, Manning convinced Army officials to begin hormone therapy as a means to “treat” his “gender dysphoria”. (Kube, O’Hara, Helsel, & Press, 2017) Despite being a prisoner, this hormone therapy was paid for with tax payer dollars. In addition, Manning had access to means which allowed him to update his Twitter account from prison. (Karimi, 2015) This enabled him to reach out to supporters and garner support for his “cause”. Also, while in prison, Manning was able to write opinion pieces for The New York Times and The Guardian. (Karimi, 2015) Then, the final injustice occurred. Before leaving office, former President Barrack Obama commuted Manning’s 35 year sentenced after only serving 7 years despite the fact that Manning SOLD OUT HIS COUNTRY!
So yes…it is brilliant how Manning pulled this whole “traitor to victim” thing off. Manning and his supporters manipulated the media, making all accomplices look like complete and utter fools! Despite being a PRISONER, Manning garnered privileges that some free, law-abiding citizens don’t even have access to! Some of these privileges even came at the monetary expense of the very country that he sold out! At the end of the day, Manning went to prison for selling out his country and somehow managed to come out of it better off than he was before!
I’d like to believe that Manning feels some shred of remorse for what he did. Yet, he doesn’t. He’s simply too selfish, too self-absorbed, and too much of a brat to feel any sort of responsibility or accountability for selling out his country. This sense of self-entitlement is clear as Manning “is [now] looking forward to eating pizza, swimming, playing PlayStation and meeting the many friends who have supported her over the years”. (Kube, O’Hara, Helsel, & Press, 2017) In addition, Manning stated, “After another anxious four months of waiting, the day has finally arrived,” said Manning. “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.” (Kube, O’Hara, Helsel, & Press, 2017) Clearly, there is no remorse whatsoever on the part of Manning for selling out his country.
Ironically, I hope Manning enjoys his pizza. I hope he has fun playing his PlayStation and swimming. I hope he enjoys spending time with the “friends” that he suckered into supporting his “cause”. I hope he enjoys all these things because in doing so Manning highlights what freedom really means in this country. What Manning is too self-absorbed and too selfish to realize is only in the United States of America can you sell out your country and still be alive to enjoy all these things.
The harsh reality is had Manning done what he did as a citizen of less understanding countries…the outcome would have been very different. In these countries, even if suspected of being a traitor, Manning would have disappeared. If he were lucky, he would have been killed on the spot. But…he wouldn’t have been that lucky. He would have likely been beaten and tortured in ways he has no idea even exist. If he managed to live, the rest of his pathetic, pitiful life would have been spent in confinement…or a work camp…hoping to die. This grim reality doesn’t even take into account had it been known that he wanted to be a “she”. This grim reality doesn’t take into account what would have happened to his family for him being an enemy of the State.
So let’s set the record straight. Manning IS NOT a hero. Manning IS NOT a whistleblower. Manning is a TRAITOR!!!!! Manning was entrusted with secrets vital to the safety and security of this country and just like Edward Snowden, he selfishly and irresponsibly SOLD OUT THIS COUNTRY!!!!! That is not what heroes do. That’s not what whistleblowers do. Manning’s actions were the epitome of what TRAITORS do! Manning, along with those that defended and supported him, brilliantly manipulated the media to transform him from a traitor into a victim. This only served to reinforce his selfishness and falsely perceived sense of entitlement which means Manning will never feel remorse for SELLING OUT HIS COUNTRY. He will hypocritically enjoy the freedoms and liberties of this country despite being a traitor to this country. Know that those that defend and support him are just as despicable. Manning may look forward to his future…but his past will never be forgotten.
Karimi, F. (2015, April 4). CNN. Retrieved from Chelsea Manning tweeting from prison : http://www.cnn.com/2015/04/03/us/chelsea-manning-joins-twitter/
Kube, C., O’Hara, M. E., Helsel, P., & Press, A. (2017, Many 17). msn.com. Retrieved from Army Whistleblower Chelsea Manning Released From Prison â€” and Wants Pizza, PlayStation : http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/army-whistleblower-chelsea-manning-released-from-prison-â€”-and-wants-pizza-playstation/ar-BBBeyeo?ocid=spartandhp
Pam MS, N. (n.d.). Psychology Dictionary. Retrieved from What is RECENCY EFFECT?: http://psychologydictionary.org/recency-effect/
Savage, C. (2017, May 16). nytimes.com. Retrieved from Chelsea Manning Leaves Prison, Closing an Extraordinary Leak Case: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/16/us/politics/chelsea-manning-leaves-prison.html?_r=1
Staff, H. (2010). 9/11 Attacks. Retrieved from History.com: http://www.history.com/topics/9-11-attacks