Chelsea Manning wants the Government he Betrayed to pay for her Hormone Therapy

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 31st, 2013

Week in Review

Monty Python’s Life of Brian is a hilarious movie.  If you don’t own it buy it for your permanent collection.  When it came out it was blasphemous.  Religious groups hated and condemned it.  Which only made it more popular.  But who’s laughing now?  Probably not the left.  At least over this scene:

Funny, yes?  You want to laugh, yes?  But do you?  Can you?  Should you?

Bradley Manning’s recent conversion to Chelsea Manning makes this classic scene a bit impropriate these days.  Funny how time changes things.  First the left loved this movie.  As well as every man on the planet.  Except those with delicate religious sensitivities.  But today the left may have trouble laughing about poor Loretta and his struggle against reality (see The Fight for Trans Rights in the Military by Molly Knefel posted 8/26/2013 on the Rolling Stone).

In a statement released on August 22nd, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) argued that denying Manning access to hormone therapy – considered medically necessary care for the treatment of gender dysphoria – could be a violation of her Eighth Amendment rights protecting her from cruel and unusual punishment.

No, it isn’t.  If Manning was not imprisoned or in the military Manning would still not be getting treatment for gender dysphoria.  Would a free person unable to afford hormone therapy/gender reassignment surgery be inflicting cruel and unusual punishment on him or herself?  If so who would they sue?  A child dying from cancer is pretty cruel and unusual.  Should we be suing someone for that, too?

One trans* service member, a second-year medical student with a full scholarship from the U.S. Navy, feels that the DADT victory was incomplete. “I’m literally the same exact person I was before, the same feelings, experiences, abilities,” says Jai, who identifies as non-gendered and prefers gender-neutral pronouns, and plans to begin taking testosterone in September. “The only thing that has changed is the words that describe me, but now I’m deemed unfit for service…”

As a medical student, Jai feels especially astounded by the discrimination trans* people face when it comes to accessing necessary health care. “It’s comparable to a person with type II diabetes or hypothyroidism not having their medication covered,” Jai says. Jai, whose father was a career military serviceman, saw the Navy as an opportunity to go to medical school and serve a population that needed care. Now, they’re hoping to avoid being discharged until figuring out another way to pay for school.

People join the Air Force for free pilot lessons so they can get an airline job after their EAD.  Because it’s free.  And airlines like hiring former military pilots.  Medical school is costly, too.  But it’s free if you have a military scholarship.  Of course, because it is so costly the government makes your EAD 5 years instead of 4 (this was the way it used to be but things may be different today).  Making you serve as a military doctor for at least one more year before leaving the service for a more lucrative career in private medicine.

Back before the Gulf War this was a pretty cheap way to get a quality education.  It’s a little more risky these days.  As there are more shooting wars than before.  But some still do this.  And some serve in combat zones.  Earning every dime of Uncle Sam’s investment.  But the military is different than ordinary life.  It trains killers.  Who are expected to go out and kill without remorse.  And all of this attention to sexual orientation and gender issues distracts from the mission.  As we are discussing the poor feelings of someone in prison who for all intents and purposes committed treason instead of the harm to national security he did.  Which endangered our military people.  As well as create more anti-American hostility.

The military is not a place for social experimentation.  We have the greatest fighting force in the world.  Nay, in history.  We get great peace with that strength.  Because our enemies know that we can unleash lethal killing force anywhere our enemies may be.  This is what we want our enemies to be preoccupied with.  Trying to avoid the wrath of America’s military might.  Not the soap opera about the cruel and unusual punishment we’re inflicting on a prisoner because we’re not footing the bill for this prisoner’s sex change.

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A Broken Family and Bullying for being Gay drove Bradley Manning to the largest National Security Breach since the Pentagon Papers

Posted by PITHOCRATES - August 3rd, 2013

Week in Review

You get in trouble in the military if you have an affair.  Why?  Because that secret could give someone power over the adulterer.  This is the stuff they made spy movies about during the Cold War.  If the Soviets found out a person’s adulterous secret they would demand top secret information from the adulterer to keep that secret from becoming public.  A lot of traitors were made this way.  Which is why the military likes their people to be happily married.  With a regular, run of the mill boring life.  So there is nothing that can fester and boil over one day.  And compromise U.S. security (see Revealed: How an alcoholic mother and being kicked out of home for being gay turned a geeky Midwestern boy the biggest leaker in U.S. history by Dan Bates posted 7/30/2013 on the Daily Mail).

He was a ‘mess of a child’ who was tormented for being gay, kicked out of home at 18 by his father and once threatened to stab his step mother with a knife.

His own mother drank too much, he could not hold down a job and once literally crawled up a wall because he felt his family were ignoring him.

Perhaps it was no surprise then, that Bradley Manning was angry at the world – angry enough to hit back at any figure of authority that was within his grasp.

He has now been convicted of leaking classified information but given the troubled life he led Manning was always a time bomb waiting to go off…

Even at a young age Manning had a festering lack of respect for authority and refused to recite part of the Pledge of Allegiance to God…

In 2000 his already turbulent life took a turn for the worse when his parents divorced…

Manning spent four years there and, according to reports, was taunted by his classmates because he was gay and because he was American.

Rowan John, a former classmate who was openly gay in school, has said: ‘It was probably the worst experience anybody could go through. Being different like me, or Bradley, in the middle of nowhere is like going back in time to the Dark Ages…’

He met Tyler Watkins, a freshman at Brandeis University in Waltham, MA, west of Boston, who called himself a singer and a drag queen on his blog…

Manning made weekend visits to see Watkins and met the lesbian, gay and transgender community he was part of. He also got involved with the university’s hacker community…

He had already been noticed by those around him for his keenly developed political views, and even in Iraq he posted Facebook that he was ‘beyond frustrated with people and society at large’…

Three months after being stationed in Baghdad, Manning came home for leave for two weeks and told Watkins that he had ‘gotten his hands on’ some sensitive information and was considering passing it on to Wikileaks.

Manning was no doubt an angry young man – he is still only 25 today – and spent his life doing things his own way because he had no other choice.

So it is hard to believe that he was entirely acting out of the wider good when he gave 700,000 documents to Wikileaks, the largest national security breach since the Pentagon Papers.

How much of his motive was cold-blooded revenge for a lifetime of rejection, only Bradley Manning will know.

I never knew that Manning was gay.  I don’t recall the mainstream media reporting that small bit of information.  All they said was that Bradley was a hero.  For exposing the crimes of the Bush administration.  While condemning the treachery of Edward Snowden who exposed the crimes of the Obama administration.  That is, who compromised national security during the Obama administration.  For sneaky things are only crimes in the Bush administration.  Not in the Obama administration.  Apparently.

So he was gay.  An atheist (based on that thing about the Pledge of Allegiance).  Liked hacking computers.  And was angry at the world.  Particularly the straight world.  For the way the straight world treated him while growing up gay.  Which is, sadly, not that uncommon.  Bullying of gay kids.  Which does who knows how much damage to these kids.  Some are so distraught from this bullying that they have even committed suicide.

The Army needs to do a better job with their background checks.  If someone discovered this information now someone could have discovered it before he was put into a position where he could do great harm.  Especially someone who was involved with a university’s hacker community.  Which should have been enough to bar him from having access to any computer that is a portal to classified information.  For law abiding (and Army regulation-abiding) people shouldn’t be hanging out with people who illegally hack into computer systems.

One can’t help but think that had they kept Manning out of the Army for being gay he could not have leaked 700,000 classified documents to our enemies (who no doubt read these on the Internet like everyone else did).  Of course, banning gays from the military would only drive them underground.  Where gay servicemen would harbor a great secret that could give someone power over them.  Like an adulterer trying to hide an affair.  Then again, an adulterer would have to be found out.  A spy would have to discover the secret to apply pressure for information.  Whereas Manning just gave it up because he was angry at the world.  Making him more dangerous.  Less unpredictable.  And should have been easier to screen out of a position having access to classified information.  Something the military should consider before assigning anyone to a position with such access again.

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