Posts Tagged ‘bradley manning’

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By @anarchyroll

What do you call a transgender person in the military who provides Wikileaks with access to one of the largest data collections of the US military to ever be made public?

Her name is Chelsea Manning. When she first made world-wide headlines she was known as Bradley Manning. A person at the center of one of the biggest news stories of all time. Manning will finally walk out of military prison this spring. Barack Obama commuted the sentence on one of his final days in office.

There is something about giving up ones freedom to expose not simply the truth, but the hidden truth. The hidden truth that has been hidden purposefully. The hidden truth that has been hidden purposefully by people in positions of power and authority.

We all see injustice in our lives. Living life means to witness injustice. There is so much good in the world, but there is also a lot of bad. To stare the good in face and actually do something about it is commendable. To do something knowing there will be a negative personal consequence is admirable. When those consequences are solitary confinement in military prison, well, now we’re talking about a whole new level.

Cowardice is the standard in the developed world. Bravery is showcased in clothing choices and mate selection. Passive aggressive no longer aptly fits the abeyant nature of the modern condition.

Many were too scared to even look at some of the video material Manning leaked. Many more don’t have the conviction to read much of the other material manning leaked that shows the true nature and motives of modern warfare. It makes sense that many of those same people would reflect their self-hatred for those failures of character onto someone who has them in spades and is one of those millennial cross dressers to boot.

There are many people who don’t even want to look another person in the eye on the bus, at the coffee shop, or waiting in line at the grocery store. Are people like that going to stare down solitary confinement in a military prison in the face, and still take action to serve the greater good in the face of being called a traitor by their government and fellow (hu)man?

We accept many wrongs as the norm. Chelsea Manning refused to do this. The price for consent or defiance of these norms is the same, freedom. The norm is to accept our gender whether we are congruent with it or not. The norm is to accept what the Military Industrial Complex does regardless of cost or collateral damage. Both of these norms are very powerful and entrenched.

Just as passive aggressive is no longer a suitable term for confrontation in the modern condition, brave is not a suitable term for what Chelsea Manning has done for the global village. A living, breathing dark knight. Hated and maligned for being very ordinary yet willing to do the extraordinary without care for the personal cost she must pay and has paid.

Not a martyr, a harbinger. A symbol of the future. A future where we don’t accept or stay silent about what is wrong regardless of perceived norms. A symbol of hope. Hope for every confused coward that walks through life in a daze that they can tangibly change themselves and the world. An icon of the millennial generation that desperately needs heroes of substance over style.

by @anarchyroll

What a patriot Chelsea (Bradley) Manning is! What a hero of journalism! Someone who walked the walk as opposed to talking the talk. A person who has sacrificed all freedoms for what they believe in. A human being who without resorting to violence, went to war with the Military Industrial Complex. In the information/ knowledge worker age, Manning took the protests, sit ins, and whistleblowing concepts out of the 20th century, combined them, and brought them all screaming into the 21st century by innovating or at the very least popularizing hacktivism.

Chelsea changed many of my personal perceptions. I have always been pro equal rights for gays and lesbians. However, the T in LGBT has always been a source of a source of hypocrisy for me, Chelsea Manning will be my turning point on that issue. I have wanted to be a journalist and/or media writer, but after years of conglomerate media ownership/takeovers I feared there was no more journalism. Chelsea Manning restored my faith in both the existence and power of the fifth estate. I believed that Barack Obama was an advocate for changing government and voted for him with a sense of pride, feeling I was making a difference. Chelsea Manning’s prosecution as a spy under the Espionage Act showed me Obama is nothing more than the same prototypical politician in a different wrapper, with better public speaking skills.

I planned on referring to her as Bradley during this blog and most future blogs. While doing my research and brushing up on some facts, I found it impossible to do that. Chelsea’s attorney, reading her statement after the verdict was handed down, had me feeling bad for even considering such an action. Even typing Bradley Manning into search engines had me wincing, with the knowledge I had made a mistake. Chelsea has earned the right to be called whatever she wants. She has endured hell on Earth via years of solitary confinement in a military prison, all before receiving a 35 year sentence. All in the name of government transparency.

Chelsea Manning made me want to write again. I had only been writing for academic purposes. It was symbolic of how I lived me life for so long. Using negative assumptions dictate my reality. Living my life through a series of  mental movies with stressful situations and outcomes scare me from taking action in the direction of my dreams. I would be creatively inspired by movies, music, television, paintings, and drawings but the good vibes would fade almost instantly. I felt like I needed to be inspired, that the inspiration needed to last. A self fulfilling writer’s block played out amongst many other issues. I was living my life as a weak coward. Chelsea Manning helped me find my bravery, helped me find consistent desire to write.

Chelsea taught me that we can’t afford to be afraid to move in the direction of what we believe in and what we feel is right. Just because we don’t act, doesn’t mean the World stops spinning, doesn’t mean that others aren’t taking action in place of us. She is a living, modern day example of many things that I have read about in books that are half a century old at least.  She helped dissolve my fear of being lost in the shuffle. She helped me feel enthusiastic about putting my talents and abilities into practice, rather than leaving them in thought and regret. Chelsea Manning made me want to write again, Edward Snowden made me feel like I needed to be writing again…