Austen Crowder

Wikileaks source Bradley Manning considering transition?

Filed By Austen Crowder | June 21, 2010 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Politics, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Baghdad, bradley, transgender, transition, WikiLeaks

The Baghdad helicopter footage Bradley uncovered was as amazing as it was horrifying. However, new evidence in the form of chat logs shows that Bradly may be considering transition:collateralmurder.jpg

(1:11:54 PM) bradass87: and... its important that it gets out... i feel, for some bizarre reason
(1:12:02 PM) bradass87: it might actually change something
(1:13:10 PM) bradass87: i just... dont wish to be a part of it... at least not now... im not ready... i wouldn't mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn't for the possibility of having pictures of me... plastered all over the world press... as boy...
(1:14:11 PM) bradass87: i've totally lost my mind... i make no sense... the CPU is not made for this motherboard...
(1:14:42 PM) bradass87: s/as boy/as a boy
(1:30:32 PM) bradass87: >sigh<
(1:31:40 PM) bradass87: i just wanted enough time to figure myself out... to be myself... and be running around all the time, trying to meet someone else's expectations
(1:32:01 PM) bradass87: *and not be
(1:33:03 PM) bradass87: im just kind of drifting now...
(1:34:11 PM) bradass87: waiting to redeploy to the US, be discharged... and figure out how on earth im going to transition
(1:34:45 PM) bradass87: all while witnessing the world freak out as its most intimate secrets are revealed
(1:35:06 PM) bradass87: its such an awkward place to be in, emotionally and psychologically

I've not posted a picture of Bradley here, as the chat logs here obviously show that to be a worst-case scenario for the soldier. Also, I need to emphasize that this story is really early in development - BoingBoing just released the story on Sunday night. I have full faith that BoingBoing readers will be respectful about this issue; I know they had Andrea James as a guest columnist for a weeklong stint, and every comment was respectful and well thought-out.

We will keep tabs on the story as it progresses.

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I don’t know Bradley Manning. I don’t know the veracity of this purported chat log. I don’t know a lot about this situation.

I do know Transpeople. They are very private about their lives.
Those Transpeople citizens who serve our country are in tenuous circumstances at best. They’re afraid of everything and more than a bit paranoid because they know that failure to keep stealth can lead to ...well, beatings, sexual assault, abandonment in the field and worse.
I know a bit about it, I’ve given support to a lot of them. I’ve heard the stories of those who failed to keep their personal information of being Trans secure.

I don’t make assumptions about someone who’s outted by the media or thru unverified chat logs.
Especially when that person is a whistle blower under investigation and in the military. This story can be pure 100% spoof. It could also be real.

Either way, I really do wish that OUR community wouldn’t have posted this or the name of the servicemember. It doesn’t look good when our community has the appearance of outting someone. The story could have been reported with out naming the person. The story could have been reported with out the purported chat log. The story...could have been better written.

I can only hope that when the day comes when one of my little numbers comes along and appears in the news that it’ll be bit...more mature and responsable about it.

Carol Anne | June 21, 2010 2:54 PM

That's not a story, as in journalism, on Boing Boing. It's a lot of speculation based on very little. As for your desire to get ahead of the story, doesn't that leave the facts behind?

I agree with the two prior posts. This is a very irresponsible and thoughtless speculation to make about someone whether they're potentially needing to transition or not. It's reporting here say as though it's fact and showing zero respect for the person in question. BIG FAIL!

William Arhus | June 21, 2010 4:30 PM

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Wow William, you're really a piece of work here, aren't ya?

Nothing like using this story for some trans bashing, eh? Where do you get off with baseless speculation like this?

"If it turns out he is trans and that he leaked this information as a way of dealing with his stress over "transitioning", you can be sure that the anti-gay side will be sure to point out that gay people are really "LGBT" and use this to negate the service of tens of thousands of gay people."

I'm sure no gay cis male servicemembers have ever, ever been shitbags! You're not just highly transphobic and nasty, but I guess to be good LGB (t) people we all have to be uber patriotic and whatnot now?

I was merely going to originally comment that the worse thing about this story breaking (and TBP is hardly the first outlet to pick it up) is that Manning is possibly facing prison time, and the fact that he is trans (possibly, maybe) being an open fact before hand is a very bad thing for prison.

For the record, I'm trans, and have my honorable discharge from the Army (plenty of copies of my DD-214 if you wanna see), and its highly transphobic and just plain douchebaggery voices like yours that make me not to want to give a shit about DADT anymore. If you're the voice of the gay community, then screw them.

The "fail" comments are noted and taken to heart. To be honest, it doesn't read nearly as well as it did last night. However I can't commit to pulling it down since it's being reported in other places right now, but I will redact some of the discussion at the end.

Failure is part of the newswriting game. I'll take that shiner, please, and I promise my next posts will make up for this one. :(

Probably unwelcome to all sides of this discussion is the trans narrative may well answer the question why Manning sought out Lamo in the first place.

Most of the previous commentary is quite unsatisfactory on WHY Manning would seek out someone simply on the basis of a few Tweets. When it is revealed that Lamo has extensive connections, as reported on Boing Boing, at least, with LGBT people, what was a question mark becomes less opaque.

This opens up more as to the reasons Lamo betrayed Manning to military authorities, and raises the question, if Lamo is part of the LGBT Community what part he is of, and why is there no loyalty?

We are told we must be loyal to the LGBT Community.

Another point, though probably not of interest here, certainly not to William, Daniel Ellsberg has referred to Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, as a true partiot--many are now referring to Assange as the Ellsberg of his generation.

What about Manning? Just another disposable transsexual person, maybe?

William Arhus | June 22, 2010 2:43 PM

"This opens up more as to the reasons Lamo betrayed Manning to military authorities, and raises the question, if Lamo is part of the LGBT Community what part he is of, and why is there no loyalty?"

Lamo is an American and is loyal to America. He is not loyal to the each and every "LGBT" (a term which itself is artificial and meaningless) individual, regardless of what that individual has done. He certainly should not be expected to keep silent about multiple federal crimes and actions which have endangered not only US citizens, but many foreign nationals who have worked with the US.

Lamo also did not "betray" Manning because he never promised to keep Manning's confidence. Manning was a complete stranger to him and it was Manning who sought out Lamo and started making these disclosures.

If this incident can be a teaching moment then it may have been worth it. It should teach "trans" people that there is no such thing as LGBT and that gay and bi people (as in the case of Lamo) will not conceal criminal acts by trans people out of some sense of duty to a non-existent community. It should also teach all LGB people that there is a real price to be paid when you associate your very identity with another group. You take on that other group's liabilities - emotional, psychological, social, and political.

So I expect with this spreading around that we're going to see Manning get vilified even harder. William Arhus' comment is just a taste.

My big question is did he get paid to leak the information or did he volunteer it? The answer to that question will have added significance should he be proven to be transgendered.I watched the video of the guys in the minivan getting lit up by the chopper one of them appeared to be carrying something that could be mistaken for weapon and that propably lead to the shooting.Think about the fact that goes guys in the chopper were in a warzone and that object could have been an rpg (rocket propelled grenade.)I do not wish to trivialize the loss of civilian lifes but in war things happen and yes sometimes intentionally but not always.

Remember, the video quality we saw in the released version was not what the Apache pilot and gunner(s) saw. Going through the various stages needed to prepare for release, including breaking the encryption on the video reduced what, in the original, was very high definition.

More than that, if you listen to the helicopter jocks, and their commander elsewhere, their commentary is quite chilling.

For myself, I find it difficult to accept the attitude these guys had--is there any wonder, given that this incident was routine not rare how despised Americans are in so many parts of the world?

We have this one, rather arcade-like incident to discuss--there are so many in the world who have had their parents, sons, daughters, wives, husbands, die or be horribly mangled in these everyday events.

Wow, I'm really behind on this story. How did Manning's identity get out anyway? I thought being a leaker meant staying in secret.

Lamo betrayed Manning to the military authorities, and revealed it to Poulsen.

Read Glenn Greenwald on it:

The only question was why did Manning contact Lamo?

The LGBT connection answers that question, see BoingBoing:

and Gawker:

We'll have to see if it's actually true.