Say WHAT???

Guess who is running for the U.S. Senate seet from the state of Maryland this year?  None other than Ms. Chelsea Manning.  For any who may not remember Chelsea Manning, she is the former United States Army soldier who was convicted by court-martial in July 2013, of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses, after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly 750,000 classified, or unclassified but sensitive, military and diplomatic documents.

Chelsea ManningAs an Army intelligence analyst, she had access to classified databases. In early 2010, she confided to an acquaintance that she had leaked classified information to WikiLeaks.  That acquaintance, Adrian Lamo, informed the Army’s Criminal Investigation Command, and Manning was arrested in May of 2010.  Manning was ultimately charged with 22 offenses, including aiding the enemy, which was the most serious charge and could have resulted in a death sentence.

Manning pleaded guilty in February 2013 to 10 of the charges, and was convicted of all except ‘aiding the enemy’ on July 30th, 2013. She was sentenced to 35 years at the maximum-security U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth. Including time served while awaiting trial, Manning had served just short of seven years when, in January 2017, President Obama commuted her sentence, calling it disproportionate.

Which brings us to yesterday, when it was announced that Ms. Manning has filed with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) to run for the Senate in the November mid-term elections. She is running as a democrat, and in the primary will be challenging Senator Benjamin L. Cardin.  Senator Cardin is the senior senator from Maryland, and in his last election bid won by 75%.

Now that you have the facts of the matter, let’s give this some thought …

The nearly 750,000 documents that Manning released to WikiLeaks were classified or sensitive.  Some of those documents pertained to troop movement in Iraq and Afghanistan and could have potentially put at risk the lives of the men and women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  The fact that she was sentenced to 35 years should be enough, in my view, to disqualify her from holding any office, let alone one of the most important in the nation.

After a bit of initial research, I can find not one single thing that qualifies Ms. Manning for the senate seat.  She attended only one semester of college, and dropped out after failing her exam.   She has no government experience outside of her military career.

To address the elephant in the room, Ms. Manning is transgender, having been born Bradley Edward Manning.  As far as I am concerned, this is an irrelevant fact, and should not affect her candidacy one way or another.  But the reality is that we all know it will.  If Manning wins the democratic nomination, the democrats will lose the senate seat currently held by Cardin to a republican. The far right, the evangelical Christians, will pretend to be so highly offended, get their knickers in a knot, and be so morally outraged that the entire election will turn into yet another three-ring circus.

Though some have hailed Manning a hero for leaking classified documents, this writer fails to see it that way.  My take is that she broke the law, she compromised national security, and risked the lives of many dedicated military personnel.  And for what?  She said she had leaked the cables “to show the true cost of war”.  Sorry, it doesn’t fly.

She has been conviceted of very serious crimes … 21 counts of very serious crimes.  So, it is incomprehensible that her candidacy will even leave the launch pad, right?  Maybe.  Or maybe not.  It was incomprehensible that Donald Trump would be elected president.  It was incomprehensible that Greg Gianforte would be elected to the House of Representtives just a day after beating up a reporter for asking a question.  There have been so many incomprehensibles that … well, happened anyway … that I  do not think anything is outside the realm of possibility.  I am not alone …

Todd Eberly, a political-science professor at St. Mary’s College in Maryland, said Donald Trump’s unexpected rise to the presidency opened the door for political neophytes such as Manning.

“My initial thought quite literally was, ‘Donald Trump is president, Oprah Winfrey is the leading contender for Democrats in 2020, why the hell not Chelsea Manning in the U.S. Senate?’ ”

IF Ms. Manning had any qualifications for the job, and IF she were not a convicted criminal, and IF I believed for one minute that she had a well-planned agenda that promoted humanitarian/environmental values in the best interest of the nation, I would be happy to welcome her candidacy.  Since none of those three criteria exist, I have to question why she is even throwing her hat into this ring.  There is absolutely no way she will be able to beat any republican candidate, whereas Senator Cardin is considered a safe bet to win against a republican candidate.  Surely she is smart enough to realize this?  So, what is her motive?  Publicity?  Attention?  Since she has refused to issue a statement or respond to calls from the press, we can only speculate at this point.  One thing is for sure:  her candidacy is certain to create chaos, not only in Maryland, but throughout the nation.  We can only hope she has the good sense to withdraw her filing, or at the very least that she does not win the democratic nomination in June.

38 thoughts on “Say WHAT???

  1. For the first time I really disagree with your assessment. It seems you have some basic facts wrong. Despite the rhetoric at the time not one person on the US side military or civilian was harmed due to the information release. No national security harm was done. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/31/bradley-manning-sentencing-hearing-pentagon http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/chelsea-manning-leaks-national-security-us-no-damage-report-us-a7801101.html
    In fact the damage that was done was the embarrassment caused to the US government due to both the fact that it came out that the government was covering up illegal actions by troops firing at both civilians and first responders. There was also some other rather embarrassing information released that showed other government lies and sadly actions that we shouldn’t have been taking.

    I was ashamed of my countries actions before she was arrested and infuriated about it after. Her treatment was torture and inhuman. For what she dared to do, for informing the american public of what we had the right to know , and for the punitive actions our government took against her I do consider her a hero. She went through more mental hardship / physical hardship in her time in custody than most of our elected leaders could with stand.

    For the record as not all service members were against her actions. I served two tours in the US military and I support what she did. Did we learn nothing from our vietnam police action? I also want to clear up a misconception. Felony convictions are not a bar to congress. In fact In the US, convicted felons are allowed to serve federally, whereas some states prohibit running for office. https://www.quora.com/Are-there-any-convicted-felons-in-Congress
    The sad fact is many members of congress have criminal records and they have passed a law allowing many of them to remain hidden. Congress Quietly Passes New Rule Allowing House Members To Hide Records From Ethics Probes https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/secret-new-rule-allows-house-members-to-hide-records-from-ethics-probes_us_58746aefe4b099cdb0ff34eb .

    Now while I would support her candidacy in other circumstances against other appoints I am not sure of my support of her current challenge. Her opponent seems to be listed as a middle of the road democrats, and I do not know much about him. If he was a corporate democrat or a republican lite democrat I would support any challenge to him. Even if he was a sure win. I am tired of being sold out by political elected congress people who sell out to the highest bidder and do not represent the left / progressive / democratic views. I do not vote right because I do not believe in the positions they stand for. SO when I vote for a democrat I want a democrat, not a republican lite. if the stance of the party / candidate / congress person is that corporate donors come before the needs of the people then I say primarry the crap out of them until we get them out of office.

    As to her motive. I suspect she is being advised to do this. Why she would want to is beyond me, unless in her heart she thinks she really can make things better than the guy in the position. She has positions she supports fervently and those who support those positions as she does maybe are using her, her name recognition, her celebrity to parlay to get more attention to their cause. It wouldn’t be the first time. Also she has a right to push for her causes.
    Well I won’t add anymore as this is getting as long as a post. Be well. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hey Scottie! Sorry for the delay in responding to your comment … I’ve been struggling to keep my head above water here, and since your comment was fairly long, I put it aside to come back to.

      There are two distinct and polar opposite schools of thoughts about whistleblowers. Some hail them as heroes, others see them as a danger and a risk. I am of the latter opinion. You are correct when you say Ms. Manning’s actions did not cause either death or injury to another, but the potential was there. Many people have tremendous respect for Snowden and Assange. I respect those opinions, as I do yours, but I do not share them. While I am all for transparency in government, I see limits … I think there are certain things that ought not be shared, lest they get into the wrong hands. So, with that said, we can respectfully disagree, eh? Hugs, my friend!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Hello Jill. I hope things get better for you soon. As for whistleblowers I do not put Assange in that category and do not have much respect for him. However there is a new movie out about the pentagon papers, and as a young person I learned how important they were. Whistleblowers often pay a price while others who commit the crimes walk away. I am thankful for the current whistleblowers who released documents on known child abusers in the Jehovah’s Witnesses child sexual abuse scandal. The church decided to take a $4,000.00 a day fine rather than turn over the records of, again known abusers that the church had protected. I am grateful many times to the different people who stuck their necks out and gave out information their bosses did not want others to see, everything from sex abuse, to pollution , to crimes. Whistleblowers are the backbone of many crime prosecutions. Why is it that there is no longer privacy for the civilian which is seen even to the extent that personal trash is fair game, cameras everywhere, data mining and keeping by the government, the listening in on calls, the gathering of emails , all of this done in the USA by the federal and state governments, yet those same governments are to be protected from scrutiny themselves. Currently our federal congress exempts itself from many laws imposed on the population, and uses taxpayer monies to fund settlements to hide their office crimes and misdeeds.
        I agree we can and will disagree from time. I do not think so highly of myself that I think all of my opinions are universally shared. I prefer information to ego. Again I hope things get better for you soon. Hugs.

        Like

    • What next? I’m afraid to even try to think about it. Yes, let us hope, but frankly, my friend … I’m losing confidence that logic and intellect will win out over this insanity. It seems to be spreading like the plague. I hope you guys up in Canada don’t catch this terrible bug.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I hear you. Jill. Yesterday I saw a poll about the popularity of our four federal party leaders: Trudeau was way ahead with over 65% support and the other three had support in the 30% range. The best part of that poll was that the Conservative leader was dead last with only 35%. Thank goodness Trudeau came along when he did…

        Liked by 1 person

        • As an outsider, I like most everything I see and read about Trudeau. I even tried to wrangle a trade with some of my Canadian friends right after the election. But I have at least one reader who dislikes him immensely. What are your thoughts?

          Liked by 1 person

          • The Conservatives in Canada seem to hate his guts – and many of them love Trump. Trudeau’s far from perfect and his policies don’t please everyone, but he’s a democrat and cares about the people. While he’s in power our social programs are safe as are the rights of all of our citizens. He has welcomed (personally) thousands of Syrian refugees and still has that program in place. I’m a huge fan!

            Liked by 2 people

            • I’m glad to hear you say that! As I said, I respect him a great deal from what I know, but of course not being Canadian, my knowledge is limited. He reminds me, in many ways, of President Obama … well-spoken, intelligent, kind and compassionate. So now, my friend, would you like to talk ‘trade’? Trudeau for Trump, plus … I’ll throw in several extras … Sessions, Miller, DeVos, Pruitt, and even … get a load of this big bonus … Kellyanne Conway!!! Do we have a deal?

              Liked by 1 person

              • Heck no!!!! Of course the trade would be in the best interests of the world. Trump would have no nuclear buttons in Ottawa and nobody would care too much about his insipid tweets. However, he’d dismantle our health care. How about this: we give you Trudeau and then annex ourselves to the USA?

                Liked by 1 person

                • DRAT! Somehow I knew you would say that! But … your compromise sounds like an idea worth considering … I think Trudeau would be loved by most here, and we would love to be closer to our Canadian brothers ‘n sisters! Let me take it under advisement. 😉

                  Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never been impressed with WikiLeaks which seems to dabble in the diluted Protocols of Zion, never seems to say anything about Russia or China and generally is outraged by anything the west does. Nor do I think much of Ms Manning and much less Snowden who now resides in Russia. If these folk had true and mature concerns there were plenty of folk in the USA in the political, academic and journalistic areas they could have contacted. I fear we have two professional martyrs and godsends to the Alt Right.
    What more could the GOP ask for?

    Liked by 1 person

    • What more, indeed. Interestingly, Ms. Manning clais that she tried some of the mainstream media outlets … I don’t remember which, but I belive the NYT was one … and they weren’t interested. I find that very hard to believe. I also find it hard to understand those that hail Snowden, Assange and Manning as heroes … in my book, they are anything but heroes. Did I drop into an alternate universe??? These last few days have made up my mind … I am definitely coming back as a wolf! 🐺

      Liked by 1 person

      • Oh they are heroes in the UK ‘Romantic’ wing of the Left, who sit and dream their fluffy dreams. (They’re a bit like the Alt Right without the OTT violence,…only spite to anyone who disagrees….just as deluded as to Reality) .
        Yeh, come back as a wolf Jill 🐺 and see if you can nip Mrs Palin (if she’s still around).
        Me, I’ll be asking St. Peter if I earned enough points to go flying about The Solar System (I would like to go further but in view of the size and numbers involved that might be pushing it a bit! 🤔

        Like

  3. Dear Jill,

    I would not vote for her as she is unqualified, end of story. I will vote for a qualified, competent candidate without regard to whether someone is a transgender candidate. It’s a sure thing that no military person will vote for her. If the left supported her to run, they could cost the democrats a seat in the US Congress, at a time we cannot afford this loss.

    Hugs, Gronda

    Liked by 1 person

    • I almost wondered if she wasn’t a ‘plant’ by the republicans to ensure a democratic loss. I still wonder, but stopped short of putting that in the post, for I thought it might sound too far fetched. We really cannot afford to lose that seat, and if she wins the nomination, we are guaranteed to lose it. But my question is … how can a convicted criminal, a felon, even be allowed to run for office???
      Hugs!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      • The reason I’m fence sitting is because Chelsea Manning did not do what she did as an act of treason. She was (I think), horrified that the US government could do anything they wanted, to anyone of us, without any accountability. This means that individual freedoms were being violated when there was no cause or reason to do so in Manning’s opinion. I guess he/she just couldn’t come to terms with the conflict of what the forces required and his own moral code. I don’t think Obama thought he should have been penalised so harshly. I suppose some part of me sees Manning as a convenient scape goat for the government to cover its tracks. Whether he should be in political life is up to Americans. I only think he is operating from his own sense of fairness. To be honest, I think he is more truthful and has a better sense of honesty and caring than your POTUS, so I can’t answer this one.

        Liked by 2 people

          • True, and I debated as I was writing the piece about how to handle the gender issue, but in the end just stuck with the feminine, for that is who she is now. I wanted to downplay that, also, for I don’t want anybody to think it’s relevant to whether she should be considered qualified or not … it isn’t.

            Like

        • Point well taken, and I realize that many see whistle-blowers, including Manning, as heroes. I don’t, for they may act out of conscience, but also do not always understand or consider the potential ramifications. But I can see both sides, so I won’t beleaguer that point. But Colette … your last sentence … OF COURSE!!! My cat … even my cat from hell, Miss Tiger Lily … has more sense of honesty and compassion than Trump!!! 😀

          Like

          • I don’t see Manning as a hero…definition of that is something different for me. Certainly, hero’s don’t get arrested (usually), but I do think she was brave to go up against the system to voice what she saw as ‘wrongs.’ She certainly has endured a lot of abuse and so to continue to stand in ‘the public scrutiny) takes a conviction that most of us would let waver under social pressure.

            Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m confused, in Australia you can’t run for any position in government if you have been found guilty of any offence- other than traffic violations. It seems ludicrous that someone who has already broken the trust of their employer – the government – could be allowed to run for a government position.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This is the country that would not allow a man to come to live in the USA… ever. Because at 19 years of age in the UK he stupidly, nastily and thoughtlessly pushed a woman (she fell badly striking a concealed post as she fell). This action left the woman with a broken shoulder and him with a two year prison sentence for wounding. The court believed, ( rightly so) that punishment was due.
    Some 19 years later after never committing any form of wrong doing he applied to come to your country, where his Aunt resides as a citizen and has for 15 years. He was told he would never be allowed to stay. So having read the story of this man I must say … your post defies belief.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I sense the situation you describe is personal, someone you know. It is indeed sad … and unjust. I am sorry. As to Manning, it is my belief that no convicted criminal should hold a public office. Period. In the past three years, our nation has sacrificed many of the values we once had. How much further can it go? I have no idea. Be thankful you are on the other side of the pond. I wish I were.

      Like

      • My thoughts are, that the people around him will begin to pull the strings tighter …until he has been controlled or removed. And the country’s experience of this time will make voters think before they vote. Then once again America will find their place and status.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I hope you’re right. The problem at the moment is that the people around him are being supported by the lobbyists and big industries to support Trump, for they can keep convincing him to help enrich them. It all boils down to money. And sadly, there is still 37% of the nation that think he’s doing a fine job! Not a majority, but a heck of a lot, nonetheless.

          Like

I would like to hear your opinion, so please comment if you feel so inclined.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s