Homosexual Army soldier Bradley Manning’s bizarre behavior, which included calling himself “Breanna” and dressing in women’s clothes, might be expected to lead some in the media to question whether Congress should have repealed the policy banning open homosexuality in the military. Instead, however, many stories about Manning’s preliminary hearing are focusing on charges from his attorneys that his confusion about his own “gender identity” means that he is somehow the victim.
“Soldier’s gender identity issues are raised in WikiLeaks case” was the headline over a Washington Post article.
But one homosexual website is worried about these stories and headlines. “This could play out very poorly in the court of public opinion: Just as we’ve closed the door on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and are getting Americans to see gays and lesbians can serve proudly in the Armed Forces, we have someone at the center of the biggest security leak in U.S. history claiming his gender confusion and sexuality factored into his rationale for putting national interests at risk,” it said.
President Obama had promised during the 2008 campaign to repeal the anti-homosexual policy and in office has championed the appointments of homosexual and “transgendered” people to high-level federal positions. Obama’s proposed repeal was vigorously supported by media personalities such as MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, a lesbian activist.
In another major embarrassment to the homosexual cause, homosexual activist Dan Choi, who has also appeared on the Rachel Maddow show, is actively supporting Manning. Discharged from the Army for publicly announcing his own homosexuality, Choi calls Manning “an excellent solider” and said at a demonstration in support of him that “We see the situation where our comrade is in shackles and chains, he is on trial. But I remind all of us gathered here today because Bradley Manning stood up for the truth, he is the most free among all of us. He is not the one on trial, the United States of America is on trial today. Our reputation, and what our country stands for.”
Choi, treated as a hero by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, had given Reid his West Point graduation ring in July of 2000 at a meeting of liberal activists and asked the senator to keep it until the military’s homosexual exclusion policy was repealed. Reid then gave the ring back in celebration of the repeal. “Choi joined Reid on stage and gave the majority leader a hug,” one report said. “The next time I get a ring from a man,” Choi tweeted later, “I expect it to be for full, equal, American marriage.”
Reid himself posted the photo of him giving Choi his ring back.
But when it appeared that Reid wouldn’t be able to pass a repeal of the homosexual exclusion policy, Choi had ripped Reid, saying, “Harry Reid is a pussy and he’ll be bleeding once a month.” He later apologized for the comments.
Asked why the major gay rights groups are not supporting Manning, Choi told Accuracy in Media that “their strategy focuses on getting politicians to like us, and re-elect those politicians who pretend to like us every election cycle. National lobby groups do not want to upset President Obama, who has already pronounced the soldier’s guilt without trial. This hero, PFC Manning, told the truth despite the consequences, and valued integrity over rank. I hope the gay groups realize that is the core tenet of our community and movement.”
The truth, according to the government, is that Manning aided enemies of the United States. However, Manning’s attorney, David E. Coombs, has argued that the information that Manning provided to WikiLeaks, founded by Julian Assange, should not have been classified in the first place and that it didn’t hurt U.S. national security.
Assange has reportedly pledged a “significant amount” towards Manning’s legal expenses and the Bradley Manning Support Network is also helping to pay for his defense. Its advisory board includes Medea Benjamin of Code Pink, leftist filmmaker Michael Moore, and Kathleen Gilberd, Co-Chair of the Military Law Task Force of the National Lawyers Guild (NLG), a legal group once designated by the U.S. Government as a Communist Party front. Gilberd co-authored Rules of Disengagement: The Politics and Honor of Military Dissent, which argues that U.S. military personnel should disobey orders and refuse to participate in “illegal wars” such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
The Bradley Manning Support Network is asking that funds for his defense be funneled to “Courage to Resist,” a group which supports “the troops who refuse to fight” in U.S. wars. It also sells a book by the title of Army of None.
Manning had been an Army intelligence analyst in Iraq. At the time of the posting of the information, Admiral Mike Mullen, then-chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, “Mr. Assange can say whatever he likes about the greater good he thinks he and his source are doing, but the truth is they might already have on their hands the blood of some young soldier or that of an Afghan family.”
Then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates said, “The battlefield consequences of the release of these documents are potentially severe and dangerous for our troops, our allies and Afghan partners, and may well damage our relationships and reputation in that key part of the world. Intelligence sources and methods, as well as military tactics, techniques and procedures will become known to our adversaries.”
The Obama Justice Department is reportedly investigating WikiLeaks, but no charges have been filed. Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, wants Assange prosecuted under the Espionage Act of 1917.
The charges in this case, United States Army v. Bradley Manning, include knowingly giving intelligence to the enemy, through the “indirect means” of WikiLeaks. The charge can carry the death penalty, but Army prosecutors have said they are not seeking that punishment.
Philip Cave, a retired Navy judge advocate, says the charges against Manning constitute the Army equivalent of the Walker spy scandal involving father and son which became known as “The Navy’s Biggest Betrayal.” The Walkers stole classified U.S. Navy documents and provided them to the Soviet KGB.
Cave tells AIM it is a foregone conclusion that Manning will face a full-blown court-martial because the government has made a convincing case that Manning violated regulations against release of classified information. He thinks Manning’s lawyers may opt for a plea deal.
The hearing for PFC Manning began on December 16, 2011 at Fort Meade, Maryland, and is designed to outline the nature of the case to be presented by the government in a court-martial.
Although President Obama has said that Manning had “broken the law,” the lack of enforcement of the military’s homosexual exclusion policy, which was then in effect, could have opened the door to Manning’s alleged law-breaking and treason.
Indeed, despite the policy against public expressions of homosexuality in the military, it appears that the Manning case is an example of how it was not enforced by the Obama Administration. Manning had been a homosexual activist, had marched in gay rights parades, and had flaunted his homosexuality on Facebook. Manning, on his Facebook page, had listed the National Center for Transgender Equality, National Public Radio, “1,000,000 strong for Daniel Choi,” Rachel Maddow’s MSNBC television show, The Daily Show, Anderson Cooper 360, Virginia Young Democrats, Media Matters for America, and Barack Obama as being among his “likes.”
It has been speculated that Manning’s idea of downloading and releasing classified information to WikiLeaks may have been his way at getting back at the United States military over its policy regarding homosexuality. He was arrested in May of 2010.
What remains to be determined is whether he was part of a secret homosexual network working with WikiLeaks and its founder, Julian Assange, once part of a group called the “International Subversives,” and whether Manning was blackmailed into obtaining and disclosing the information.
A 1950 congressional report, “Employment of Homosexuals and Other Sex Perverts in Government,” declared, “It is an accepted fact among intelligence agencies that espionage organizations the world over consider sex perverts who are in possession of or have access to confidential material to be prime targets where pressure can be exerted.”
Assange, a native of Australia with an anti-American and anti-military bent, has a criminal record for illegal computer hacking. He is himself under investigation and facing deportation from Britain for alleged sex crimes.
With lawyers for Manning insisting that he had “gender identity” problems, it is significant that Rowan Scarborough of The Washington Times reports that “the gay rights movement’s next battleground is to persuade the Obama administration to end the armed forces’ ban on ‘transgenders,’ a group that includes transsexuals and cross-dressers.”
The paper quoted Vincent Paolo Villano, spokesman for the 6,000-member Center for Transgender Equality, as saying, “Our position is that the military should re-examine the policy, the medical regulations, so as to allow open service for transgender people.” The Times added that the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, which pushed to end the military’s gay ban, is urging President Obama to sign an executive order prohibiting discrimination based on “gender identity.”
The National Center for Transgender Equality (NCTE), which received $50,000 from the Soros-funded Open Society Institute in 2007, has issued a statement that “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was “a discriminatory law and it needed to go” but that transgender servicemembers “continue serving in silence” and that crossdressers should be able to serve openly in the U.S. Armed Forces.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism, and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.