Vogue Magazine recently did a feature including a photo shoot by Annie Leibovitz on Chelsea Manning, who they’re touting as a hero. “Chelsea Manning Changed the Course of History. Now She’s Focusing on Herself” and it is eye-opening and would be comical if it weren’t so serious. Hero? Hardly, she’s fortunate she’s not still in Leavenworth where she was serving her sentence.
For those of you who don’t remember who Chelsea Manning is, back in 2009 the then Bradley Manning, a specialist in the U.S. Army was stationed in Baghdad. He leaked thousands of documents to Wikileaks in 2010 after trying to approach both the Washington Post and the New York Times to turn over classified documents.
After being rebuffed by both the Post and Times, he began to correspond with Wikileaks on social media on both the IRC and Jabber platforms.
The entire story began in January 2010, Manning downloaded 400,000 documents in what later became the Iraq War Logs. Just three days later, he downloaded an additional 91,000 documents which were referred to as the Afghanistan War Logs. Manning then burned them to a CD which was labeled “Lady Gaga” which would get thru any cursory security inspection. He then downloaded the documents to his personal computer.
The next day, Manning wrote to the Washington Post offering to turn over the classified documents with a message that was later recovered.
Items of historical significance of two wars Iraq and Afghanistan Significant Activity, Sigacts, between 0001 January 2004 and 2359 31 December 2009 extracts from CSV documents from Department of Defense and CDNE database.
These items have already been sanitized of any source identifying information.
You might need to sit on this information for 90 to 180 days to best send and distribute such a large amount of data to a large audience and protect the source.
This is one of the most significant documents of our time removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric warfare.
Have a good day.
Manning, January 9, 2010″
Manning then copied the documents to an SD card in his camera which he planned on taking with him back to the United States on leave. While back in the US, he contacted a Post reporter who didn’t seem interested. The Times didn’t return a phone call so Manning then sought out Wikileaks. He then transmitted all of the documents to Wikileaks on February 3, via the TOR platform.
After returning to Iraq, Manning didn’t know if Wikileaks had received the original 500,000 documents but sent them a diplomatic cable from the US Embassy in Reykjavik, Iceland which was posted on their website immediately. He then posted two videos, one, an airstrike in Baghdad and the other from Afghanistan. Later over a two-week period between late March and early April 2010, Manning downloaded 250,000 diplomatic cables and uploaded them to Wikileaks’ Dropbox. During this time he was actively chatting with someone he believed to be Julian Assange.
In late April, Manning sent a letter to his direct line supervisor, MSG Paul Adkins stating that he was suffering from gender disorder and included a picture of himself dressed as a woman. Adkins kept the information private and didn’t discuss nor share any information within the chain of command for fear that the picture would end up being disseminated in the unit.
Manning was busted from Specialist to PFC after he had an altercation with a female member of his unit and punched the other soldier, Specialist Jihrleah Showman in the face. Manning began a series of chats online with a known hacker Adrian Lamo and admitted being the person behind the leaks. Lamo thought that the leaks that Manning had admitted to were endangering lives and went to the Army’s Criminal Investigation Division or CID.
Manning was arrested by CID on May 27, 2010. After return to the US, he was held at the Quantico, Marine Corps base. On Feb. 28, 2013, Manning pleaded guilty to 10 of the charges he was facing. Manning’s trial began on June 3, 2013. Manning was convicted on July 30, on 17 of the 22 charges, including five counts of espionage and theft, and an amended version of four other charges; however, he was acquitted of aiding the enemy. Manning was sentenced to 21-35 years in prison at Ft. Leavenworth, KS, reduced to PVT, E-1. forfeiture of all pay and allowances and given a dishonorable discharge.
Manning made a statement to the court prior to sentencing saying,
I am sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that they hurt the United States. I am sorry for the unintended consequences of my actions. When I made these decisions I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people. … At the time of my decisions, I was dealing with a lot of issues.”- Manning
On January 26, 2017, President Obama commuted all but four months of Manning’s sentence. During his time in prison, Manning came out fully as a transgender and was now referred to she.
When Manning was released, she had no job, no money and few prospects. But she became a poster child for the far left as if her gender identity issues made her behavior not only ok but of the heroic variety. A GoFundMe page was set up for Manning.
My how times have quickly changed. Some of our sources report that she’s living in a very expensive area of the New York City with professional security when she steps out.
In the Vogue piece, the magazine commented on her apparel that she was wearing that they described as:
dressed with a mixture of straightforward elegance and function: a casual black sleeveless Marc Jacobs dress with playful paisley lining, a small purse from The Row, Borderline boots by Vetements x Dr. Martens”
Do a quick check online at the cost of those items. Coupled with a Tribeca apartment and a security detail and it would seem espionage against your own country does pay.
Manning isn’t a hero nor worthy of any respect for anything she did. She admitted to hurting the United States and the people she served with. But hey, these are different times we live in. Because she’s transgender, that makes it all perfectly fine with some folks. And you’d think she’s laying low these days and trying to blend into the woodwork. Most convicted felons do. But these are different times we live in.
She’s now an active social media maven, where she lectures the rest of us on how smart she is on national issues.
To quote Yakov Smirnoff… “What a country.”
Featured image courtesy of Wikipedia