August 22, 2013
Isn't That Just Like A Woman?
Betraying her country, I mean? You know the type: can't keep a secret to save her own life. Yakity yak yak, 24/7/365:
As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility).
Chelsea E. Manning
Somehow, we just *knew* a woman was to blame. We feel sad, though, at the timing. Had Chelsea come along just a tad bit later, she could have had a glorious career in the combat arms.
Posted by Cassandra at August 22, 2013 08:28 PM
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As I told a co-worker, if i was going to spend the next 35 years locked up, I'd rather spend it surrounded by women too.
Wouldn't go *that* far to do it though.
Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at August 22, 2013 08:57 PM
I'm surprised this is just now news. When this all first came down the word we got was that his motivation was that he was in a snit because his gayness wasn't properly respected.
Posted by: Pogue at August 22, 2013 09:43 PM
"Chelsea." Maybe he's trying to curry favor with President Clinton, in the hope of a pardon once things have cooled off a bit.
Posted by: Grim at August 22, 2013 10:58 PM
What I can't figure out is why I should care how this guy wants to see himself, or why I should allow him to dictate terms to anyone?
First of all, if being seen as a woman was so all-fired important to Manning, then why hasn't he been presenting himself as a woman all along?
Secondly, there's what Pogue brought up. First there was the implication that somehow America brought this on itself by not allowing him to be openly gay. But he could have been openly gay all he wanted to. Just not in an organization whose rules - set by Congress - dictated otherwise.
I seriously considered joining the military as a young woman. But I looked honestly at the requirements of the job and decided that I would not be willing to leave my children and deploy. Therefore, I could not meet the requirements of the job. They had no obligation to change their rules for me.
I don't understand why I should accept dictats from a guy who intentionally violated the rules of the organization he voluntarily joined. He's in a poor position to be dictating terms to anyone.
Posted by: Cass at August 23, 2013 08:27 AM
Posted by: Grim at August 23, 2013 10:12 AM
If he had been convicted of aiding and abetting the enemy IN WAR TIME, he/she would have been hung, which would have solved a lot of problems.
He/she does ten years max. (time served) and will be out in 2020 or 2021
Posted by: Don Brouhaha at August 23, 2013 10:40 AM
OMG - Grim, that is awesome :)
Don, I often wonder these days if we have the stones to win a war anymore? War requires commitment, and focus, and the ability to make hard choices.
You know, all those things government doesn't seem capable of doing any more, largely because we won't tolerate that sort of thing.
Gloomy thoughts for a rainy Friday.
Posted by: Cassandra at August 23, 2013 11:38 AM
I asked MH about this "Out in 8 yrs" thing, and according to him, that just ain't possible. The most he can earn in *good behavior* time is 2 weeks per year -- and that presumes he will be a good boy for the duration of his sentence. Given that his sentence is only 35 years, he will barely earn a year and a half off for good behavior, add in the three plus years he's been in prior to trial and sentencing, that's only 5 tops that he can get taken off of a 35 yr sentence. So, again, I have to ask, from where do people get this "out in 8" scenario?
Posted by: DL Sly at August 23, 2013 12:04 PM
The Sun is shining here and I am back home from a dreary trip to Baltimore.
Posted by: Don Brouhaha at August 23, 2013 12:06 PM
Hillary will pardon him/her/it after the beginning of her second term, post 2020.
That's the way I see it.
Posted by: Don Brouhaha at August 23, 2013 12:38 PM
I have to admit to feeling a bit of sympathy for this fellow. I cannot imagine what it must be like living your life in the wrong body. One is free to embrace (or deny, I suppose) his or her sexual preferences as to partners, and yet still be confident in his or her own gender identity. But a fundamental identity snafu, a glitch in the womb that leaves your mind completely alienated from your body? That's not a "preference," that's bloody- well Hell, and my heart goes out such folks, even Manning.
That's not to say I would support any treatment for Manning's problem whilst incarcerated, as such would not be medical treatment necessary to keep him alive and free from physical pain. But neither would I make his life worse by insisting that he continue to act as a male. Barring the actions of some idiot in the White House, for the next thirty-five years Manning is neither male nor female, just a number: Zero.
Posted by: spd rdr at August 23, 2013 01:47 PM
Well, for the duration of his tenure at Levenworth, he is *still* in the Army so that would be Pvt Zero.
Posted by: DL Sly at August 23, 2013 01:54 PM
Because of the way the judge structured the sentence, with pre-trial detention counting up front, he's eligible for parole beginning in 7 years.
Posted by: Grim at August 23, 2013 02:00 PM
Well, if Private Zero is ready to have zero privates, I'm sure there are plenty of people with sharp knives that can be accomodating. Some of them might even be fairly adept at field dressing a wound.
Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at August 23, 2013 03:49 PM
Of course I feel sympathy for him/her on a personal level. Who could not do so?
He didn't ask to feel the way he feels and certainly society isn't terribly tolerant of square pegs. On the other hand, this is a person who chose a profession he had no legitimate reason to think would be a good fit for someone already dealing with gender confusion (whatever its nature, and I don't for one second discount that it could be mostly biological). Yes, that makes his situation harder but it's a self inflicted hardship.
Also, I'm not convinced that estrogen shots are all it takes to be a woman. Just as men aren't completely defined by their testosterone levels, we women are a bit more than a walking set of endocrine glands.
I think it's possible to have sympathy for his situation while not for one moment forgetting that he chose to make that situation more difficult. I'm not sure society "owes" him a fix for a situation that he deliberately made worse.
Posted by: Cass at August 23, 2013 05:03 PM
"Of course I feel sympathy for him[snip] on a personal level. Who could not do so?"
I feel neither empathy nor sympathy for him. He has chosen to dishonor the uniform of a soldier of the United Stated Army with the actions he was convicted for (as well as for those which he wasn't convicted) and is now choosing to futher defile it by insisting that it's all because of this supercilious idea he's gotten that he's really a woman in a man's body. He chose to violate his oath.
He chose to commit treason against his country.
And no amount of psychobabble is going to change that fact.
Can we say, "Squirrel!"
And in other "Squirrel News", Nadal Hasan has been convicted of all counts. Now comes the dilemma: Do we kill him as he wants and create the martyr he thinks he will become? OR, do we lock him away for the rest of his life and spend taxpayer dollars not only on his feeding and housing but also on the ever-increasing medical care a paralyzed prisoner requires?
Posted by: DL Sly at August 23, 2013 05:41 PM
Well, I'm completely separating the two things.
1. He's a woman trapped in a man's body. OK I feel sorry he has to deal with that.
2. He chose his path, and decided to violate every oath he took. Has nothing to do with being a woman trapped in a man's body, and as far as I'm concerned he deserves to be punished for being a traitor.
I view the two as completely unconnected - one has no effect on how I feel about the other, except insofar as I am inclined to believe he's playing the guilt/sympathy card, big time.
Which only has the effect of making me feel LESS sorry for him :p
Posted by: Cassandra at August 23, 2013 05:49 PM
Now comes the dilemma: Do we kill him as he wants and create the martyr he thinks he will become? OR, do we lock him away for the rest of his life and spend taxpayer dollars not only on his feeding and housing but also on the ever-increasing medical care a paralyzed prisoner requires?
I will refer y'all back to my earlier comment:
I often wonder these days if we have the stones to win a war anymore? War requires commitment, and focus, and the ability to make hard choices. You know, all those things government doesn't seem capable of doing any more...
Posted by: Cassandra at August 23, 2013 05:52 PM
Gloomy Friday? The Sun is shining here and I am back home from a dreary trip to Baltimore.
Oh fine, Mr. Brouhaha. Flaunt your Sun Privilege before the huddled and rain-soaked DC masses yearning to catch just a few of your Unearned Rays.
I see how you are. Oh yes, I see.
Posted by: Occupy Don Brouhaha NOW!!! at August 23, 2013 05:54 PM
Nadal Hasan: "Call me 'Shirley'"
Posted by: spd rdr at August 23, 2013 06:10 PM
Nidal Hasan will be appealed on his conviction on the basis of incompetent defense counsel.
Who knows what will ever happen to him.
Ramzi Yusef is still alive in a supermax prison in Colorado. Sheik Abdul Rahman is still alive in some prison hospital in North Carolina.
Hasan will still be taking up space and wasting air 10 years from now. Unless he is someday exchanged for a "prisoner of war", otherwise known as the "Chris Stevens gambit".
Posted by: Don Brouhaha at August 23, 2013 09:59 PM
The first I heard of the Chelsea/Briana/Bradley name change was on the recent changes list of Wikipedia. There's an edit war going on about the name of the article(s) and the pronouns. Usually this can be calmed by "locking" the page, meaning that only administrators can edit the page. Not this time, the administrators are continuing the edit war. The fury on the talk page is perhaps the worst I've ever seen on Wikipedia.
There's a small part of me that "feels bad" for Manning ... the rest of me hopes he serves the entire 35 years, being denied parole every time he comes up. The idea that he'd be pardoned ... makes me almost want to throw up.
Hasan [spit] since he wants to become a martyr, life in prison seems to be the worst we can do to him. (I reject the idea of forcing sex-change surgery and sending her off to various places in the Middle East as being inhumane.)
Do we have the stones to win a war? Not at the moment. We don't even have the stones to keep our country from self-destruction.
Posted by: htom at August 23, 2013 11:08 PM
"I see how you are. Oh yes, I see."
Well, at least it's still visible daylight for you to actually *see* this time....
Btw, you are getting waaayyyy too good at affectuating the *voice* of those particularly whiny-a$$ed persyns lately.
Posted by: Evil Twin at August 23, 2013 11:12 PM
The sun came out this evening as I was wending my weary way home.
It was so beautiful that for a moment I felt luck just to be alive and seeing the sunset.
And then I remembered: somewhere on Planet Earth, someone has more than someone else. And Chelsea Manning will have to endure the Living Hell of confining and unwelcome personal pronouns.
I weep, inside.
Posted by: Occupy Don Brouhaha NOW!!! at August 23, 2013 11:56 PM
When I weep inside it usually runs down my leg. There are some things for which outdoor plumbing has it's advantages.
Posted by: Evil Twin at August 24, 2013 01:47 PM
"1. He's a woman trapped in a man's body. OK I feel sorry he has to deal with that."
So many things I could say regarding this, but I'll let this gentleman say them instead.
I will add that he was put on this planet as a man for a reason and to learn lessons that none of us has a large enough grasp of the *Big Picture* to see much less understand. And while I will allow for the fact that Manning is not quite *right* mentally, I still feel no sympathy, nor empathy, for someone who seems (to me) to be using his particular pathology as an excuse for his voluntarily treasonous behaviour. Additionally, his apparent mental instability only serves to make me further question those in authority who gave him his secret clearance status. You and I both know what kind of background checks go into that process having both been through it with our respective Marines.
I question many things about Bradley Manning, the least of which is his gender.
Posted by: DL Sly at August 24, 2013 03:31 PM
Maybe I was too hasty to dismiss this bullsh... strategy. If there are extra legal rights available to those who were born in the wrong sort of body, shouldn't there be extra legal rights available to those born in the wrong century?
I'll be back to you with my demands shortly.
Posted by: Grim at August 24, 2013 07:16 PM
- while I enjoy the honest exchanges between genders on our natural differences on your site, hafta say it's too generous to this clown to favorably compare his behavior to women's compulsive need to talk/share.
- methinks your sympathy for his orientation plight is misplaced . . . chances are he will have many opportunities to experience 'catching' in prison.
>>> I assure you we have *lots* of people in our military w/ the requisite stones to fight, and win a war. The issue is our pols.
Grim: Very nice link; how can I comment there?
Sly: small correction, Manning is not a traitor. The constitution is fairly specific about the one and only crime it defines. That said, Manning is a class A dirtball, and patently guilty of a laundry list of UCMJ violations.
'Occupy:' you are a funny guy! Thanks!
Very Best Regards,
Posted by: CAPT Mike at August 26, 2013 08:50 PM
CAPT, Your mileage may vary, but in my (admittedly assinine) opinion he is a flat-fucking traitor. He deliberately leaked classified information about our combat troops in the 'Stan to Wikileaks and other internet sites knowing full well that our enemies are monitoring these sites -- just as we do. That, Sir, is treason in my books.
Oh, and if you'll hover over *Occupy*'s link, you'll see who belongs to that particular nom de plume.
Posted by: DL Sly at August 26, 2013 09:33 PM
I think you must register with one of the services they use. It didn't use to be that way; it used to be that we had many more commenters, too. But such is the prison of spam.
Posted by: Grim at August 26, 2013 11:21 PM