The Chelsea Manning bombshell: Be careful what you fall for

Bradley ManningBy: Sophie McAdam,
True Activist.

Imagine you´re Bradley Manning, the whistle-blowing soldier with worldwide fame, a hero to many and an enemy of the state to those in the highest echelons of power. You´ve spent over three years awaiting trial in an army prison, with conditions described as ´cruel, inhumane and degrading´. You have been denied visits, shackled and made to strip naked, held in solitary confinement for 11 months, and subject to treatment which most civilized countries classify as torture. Finally, your trial begins. It is conducted in secret and widely criticized for not being fair. After almost three months of court proceedings, a guilty verdict is given. You face 35 years in prison, and even your lawyer is inconsolable.

The world is waiting for your reaction. What message would you like to give the people? If the official story is to be believed, Manning decided that rather than wax lyrical about the Orwellian nightmare we are living through, the hellish conditions of army prison, the urgent need to balance freedom with security, it´s far more important to announce to the world´s media: “Call me Chelsea”. Suddenly, Manning´s shocking leaks are forgotten. The injustice of such a harsh sentence is forgotten. Amid the revelations, the urgent campaign for a pardon from Obama is half-forgotten too. Manning´s wikipedia page is hastily re-written to include paragraphs on her lifelong struggle as a woman in a man´s body, her depression, her messed up childhood, anything that discredits her mental health and diverts attention away from the police state´s terrifying treatment of its critics.

And, wait a minute- hasn´t this happened before?

In 1997, British MI5 (secret service) spy and former Sunday Times journalist David Shayler blew the whistle on a secret assassination plot of colonel Gaddafi, disclosing how Al Quaeda and other Islamic (only later re-branded as terrorist) organizations were on the pay roll of the British government. The undercover plot was carried out, but the bomb missed Gaddafi´s motorcade and instead killed several innocent civilians. Shayler also leaked documents showing how journalists are continually fed disinformation, how secret services knew of a 1994 bomb attack on the Israeli embassy in London before it happened, and how the British government was paranoid about socialists and had investigated some of its own politicians. Shayler´s shocking revelations forced him to go on the run. He was later arrested in France in 1998, serving four months in prison there and a further eight weeks banged up in Britain for breaking the Official Secrets Act, before being released in December 2002.

Former spy and whistleblower David Shayler as a woman

Former spy and whistleblower David Shayler as a woman

The former spy then joined the 9/11 truth movement and was an intelligent, articulate and respectable mouthpiece for the campaign group. Until, that is, in 2009, when Shayler announced he´d become a transvestite, re-naming himself Dolores Kane and even claiming to be a reincarnation of Jesus Christ. He posed for bizarre pictures with hippy friends at his countryside squat for right-wing British newspaper The Daily Mail, proclaiming amongst other things that the world will end in 2012, cannabis could save us all, and pedophiles should be forgiven their sins. Immediately, the whole 9/11 truth movement was thrown into disrepute. Worse still, Shayler´s leaks  were forgotten, and anyone who dared drop his name into a conversation thereafter was ridiculed. After all, who cares about false flags and shady assassination attempts when the dude is wearing a skirt?

Is it coincidence that the same scenario is being played out now regarding Bradley Manning´s gender re-assignment? It´s certainly possible. But it seems more likely that Shayler and Manning were either co-erced or forced into discrediting themselves, either in exchange for a more lenient sentence or to protect themselves and family members from shady threats by the powers that be. In the absence of corporate media journalists asking any questions, it´s probable we will never know the whole truth. But no matter what twists and turns happen next in this ongoing saga, the crucial point is that Manning´s gender cannot and must not overshadow his/her fight for justice. We must continue to campaign for Manning and not allow ourselves to be distracted by trivialities and gossip. Whether Chelsea or Bradley, Pte. Manning needs your continued support: please help to keep this ball rolling here.

Sophie is a staff writer for True Activist and a freelance feature writer for various publications on society, activism and various other issues. You can read more of her stuff here.

24 Responses to The Chelsea Manning bombshell: Be careful what you fall for

  1. OR, maybe people who are transgendered are just MORE likely to be alienated from main stream society, question authority and normative values and more likely to consider subversive acts? Manning stated MANY times over the years she identified as female…this is hardly a NEW revelation. It was also covered at length in the doco “we steal secrets”. I know several very radical trans women and men. I absolutely believe they have a unique, and valuable, assessment of the absurdities of contemporary capitalist/heteronormative society Precisely because they have lived their lives outside of it. .

  2. She didn’t announce that until the day after she talked about the bigger issues.
    Read this: http://www.democracynow.org/blog/2013/8/21/bradley_manning_sometimes_you_have_to_pay_a_heavy_price_to_live_in_a_free_society
    To come out as a woman was also something that was very important for her, why deny her that? Even then she waited till the day after with that. It was also hardly a secret.

  3. this is retarted you have dropped way to much acid bro

  4. What if every leak is planned? Every leaker an “inside” job? All information is misinformation and the true objective is lying on the horizon whilst we get baited left right and backwards. There is a war coming and whilst we all squabble over the mounds of information and planning going into it, the final chess pieces are falling into place. Keep your eyes on the End Game. Manning is but a pawn in a far greater game.

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