Heroism Against the Machine


Publisher:  Against The Current
Date Written:  27/08/2013
Year Published:  2013  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20073



Very shortly after Against the Current went to press, the judge in the court-martial trial of Bradley Edward Manning handed down a sentence of 35 years -- less than the 60 or more years demanded by the prosecution, but shockingly harsh for Manning's "crime" of exposing U.S. war atrocities in Iraq, none of which have been punished. Soon afterward, as everyone now knows, Manning announced that she wishes to be known as Chelsea Elizabeth Manning and to be recognized as a woman.

What hasn't changed, of course, is the heroism and extraordinary courage that Manning showed in maintaining a moral compass when so many military personnel from soldiers to commanding officers to high-level bureaucrats, to say nothing of lying politicians hiding behind the face of "supporting our troops," have abandoned theirs. The added factor now is Chelsea Manning's decision to live openly as who she really is, and the struggle that must be waged to defend her right to do so within the confines of a military prison.

This struggle includes her right to hormone therapy, which the military says it will refuse to provide. In addition, the regulations that govern military prisons make Manning eligible for programs and release on parole in less than ten years. Chelsea Manning must not face the loss of these rights in retaliation for her gender identity. The movement that has risen in Manning's defense must, and undoubtedly will, redouble its efforts now.
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