This is the first I had heard of the fact that alleged Wikileaks whistle-blower, Bradley Manning, might actually identify as a female, preferring the name Breanna, instead.
The only weird part about this coming out in the course of the trial is that apparently Manning’s lawyers are trying to use the existence of Manning’s “gender identity disorder” as the reason why she may have decided to leak evidence of U.S. war crimes committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I certainly understand Manning’s desire to get out from under these charges by any means necessary, but this defense cedes ground on the notion that there has to be something “wrong” with a person that would leak such classified military information. As if exposing war crimes is not the most sane and rational thing a person ought to do.
Also, I worry how the media will deal with Manning’s apparent transgender identity in the midst of all of this. I doubt they will approach the issue of ‘gender identity disorder’ with any sort of nuance whatsoever …
Defense attorneys for Army Pvt. First Class Bradley Manning, the soldier accused of illegally obtaining and leaking thousands of classified military and government files to the anti-secrecy group Wikileaks, have raised questions about whether his confusion over his gender identity affected his behavior and decision making at the time of his alleged acts.
Witnesses at today’s pre-trial hearing were asked by defense attorneys if they knew that Manning is gay and suffered from gender identity disorder. They noted that he had created a female alter ego, calling himself Breanna Manning.
Pressed by Manning’s defense team, several Army investigators who testified at today’s pre-trial hearing said that in the course of their investigation they became aware of Manning’s female alter ego. They also knew that a search of Manning’s room in Baghdad found medical information about female hormone treatments for people with gender identity disorder.
Prosecutors objected to the defense’s line of questioning, but Maj. Matthew Kemkes, Manning’s military attorney, said raising Manning’s homosexuality and his gender identity disorder was important because it would show “what was going on in my client’s mind.”
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