Here's the video that was released ...see what you think?
This morning's big news story/pounding headache is courtesy of convicted spy Bradley Manning's announcement that she wishes to live the rest of her life as a woman/the internet's predictably shitty response to that announcement, respectively.
First, the news: Manning announced today via a letter to the Today Show that she wishes to begin hormone therapy and live the rest of her life as Chelsea Manning. Here's her statement, in part, courtesy of the Guardian,
As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.
During her trial, Manning's defense team claimed that she had suffered from "gender identity disorder" throughout most of her life; her decision to undergo hormone therapy shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who was paying attention. And no matter what your stance on Manning's role in leaking documents, it's hard to argue with the fact that the timing of her transition — right before entering a men's prison to serve a 35-year sentence — puts Manning in the lines of some pretty harrowing and unconscionable scenarios.
Of course — OF COURSE — Manning's announcement was met with general idiotic fuckery from exactly the sort of people who have made it a part of their personal brand. And like most general idiotic fuckery, it was predictable and easy to categorize. It's too early for me to feel so pessimistic about other human beings' capacity for compassion and empathy, but here we go.