In a letter signed with the name “Chelsea E. Manning,” the Army private formerly known as Bradley Manning announced that he wants to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible so he can “live as a woman.” The corporate funded media, which just this year gained the ability to secretly spread US propaganda with impunity after Obama’s signing of NDAA 2013, is already talking much more about Manning’s gender preferences than they ever did about the subject matter of his whistleblowing. In sharp contrast to the confined debate conducted when all there was to discuss was war crimes, news outlets such as USA Today, CBS and the Huffington Post are ablaze with what they seem to consider the much more relevant issue of Manning’s gender psychology. The Huffington Post, with their typical style of stale social awareness, of course refer to Manning’s letter as “her” letter, in an overeager attempt to remind everyone where they stand on the issue. That quickly, the entire affair has become mainly yet another corporate media funded discussion of sexuality rather than the massive story of global import which it originally was.
The story we’ve been told is that in 2010 Manning sent a letter to Michael Worsley, his army therapist, explaining his desire to be a woman, along with the picture of him dressed as a woman which has been circulating widely since last Thursday. During the subsequent three and a half years, rather than going public with this information and picture, Worsley simply kept his secret safe, despite how much of a perceived enemy to the military he is and how damaging this news would be to his reputation.
In terms of timing, this revelation arrived perfectly for the military and corporate media. If announced before Manning’s obscenely lengthy sentence, it would have paved the way for suspicion that the harshness of his sentence was partly motivated by antagonism toward his gender preference. Instead the news arrives perfectly timed to distort many people’s growing perception of Manning as a hero who was handed down a harsh sentence from an unrepresentative government, leaving many with a sense of distrust for Manning’s character after revealing this news so late in the drama.
From a social standpoint, it certainly reveals major flaws in the modern American character that many would no longer take as seriously Manning’s revelations simply because of his gender conflict. However, if one is to seriously think critically about this development, one must consider that this was precisely the point of this announcement from Manning.
The possible motivation behind Manning’s declaration of womanhood range from a genuine desire on his part, known by his higher ups but only revealed at the most strategically opportune time, to the entire story of Bradley Manning being a form of psychological operation from the beginning, with him playing the part of either dupe or willing participant.