For those who don’t believe that Bradley’s personal life and sexuality may be used against him by officials or media critics, this gem of information was presented in a recent Vanity Fair article about Hillary Clinton, while on tour in the Middle East:
“Hillary told staff that she could not fathom how an army private, Bradley Manning, with psychological problems and a drag-queen boyfriend could single-handedly cause the United States unprecedented embarrassment just by labeling massive downloads as Lady Gaga songs.”
Were those comments verbatim, or just the ill-chosen words of the author? We probably won’t know, but one thing is for sure: they were published in a major pop-culture outlet, so there is no taking them back.
Here, is a good take-down of the allegation that Manning had “psychological problems.” As for the comments about Bradley’s sexuality, you can be the judge of that.
If Hillary did indeed say anything of the sort, it is yet another reminder of the Obama administration’s willingness, almost as retaliation for their own embarrassment, to disregard public outcry about Bradley Manning’s charges and detainment and the fact that he has not yet been convicted of any crime.
At a fundraiser in San Francisco in April, Obama told me that Bradley Manning “broke the law,” a legally irresponsible and inappropriate statement that could constitute the ‘unlawful command influence’ of any military judge or jury that may preside over Bradley’s case.
Should the President and commander-in-chief –or the Secretary of State for that matter– really be saying such things about a high profile prisoner like Bradley Manning who has not yet been to trial?
The release of the Diplomatic Cables may have been embarrassing for the Obama Administration, but the life (not political career) of the most important whistleblower of my generation hangs in the balance.
It seems unlikely that we will hear any response from Hillary about this. This administration seems content to say one thing and mean another. Remember the sad irony felt when former white-house briefer Ray McGovern was rather brutally arrested last January for standing up in silent protest during Hillary Clinton’s lecture about free speech at George Washington University?
Not to mention Obama’s unexpected persecution of more whistleblowers under the Espionage Act than any previous administration, while giving this speech about the Arab Spring,
“Through our efforts we must support those basic rights to speak your mind and access information. We will support open access to the Internet, and the right of journalists to be heard – whether it’s a big news organization or a blogger. In the 21st century, information is power; the truth cannot be hidden; and the legitimacy of governments will ultimately depend on active and informed citizens. Such open discourse is important even if what is said does not square with our worldview.”
Ironically, that sounds a lot like Bradley’s alleged chat logs, which are being held by the Pentagon as evidence that Bradley was ‘aiding the enemy.’
“I want people to see the truth, regardless of who they are… because without the truth you can’t make informed decisions as a public.”
Doubly ironic is that the cables Manning is alleged to have leaked have been hailed as a catalyst of the growing democracy in the Arab world.
The triple irony is that the greatest charge against him is that of ’aiding the enemy.’ Despite campaign promises our leaders act at home as if democracy is only good for us on their terms — in fact it just might be ‘the enemy.’ Or we are. Same thing, really.
Democracy, as the Arab world is showing us, is a do-it-yourself skill that requires courage, humility, and commitment to the truth– no matter the stakes. If Bradley Manning is indeed guilty, it is of these “psychological problems.” He is our Egyptian.