Manning: Bradley or Chelsea

Dariela Aquique

Chelsea Manning. Foto:

HAVANA TIMES – Mr. Bradley Manning, who occupied the headlines of almost all the world’s newspapers a year ago, has once again become a center of attention for the media.

The United States soldier, who gained international renown for filtering thousands of classified documents on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq to the Wikileaks website and was condemned to 35 years in prison for his actions, undoubtedly shares the salmon’s affinity for swimming against the current.

He is no more the citizen who at incredible risk to himself offered secret military information to Wikileaks. As things go, now Bradley isn’t himself anymore but Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. This is the name he has gone by since August 2013, when a judge from the state of Kansas granted him the opportunity to change his name. Other news agencies note that the former US soldier has demonstrated his repentance for having leaked the confidential information.

Is he trying to clear himself by becoming another person? Or is he merely seeking recognition – now in an official manner – as a transgendered person?

According to the article Bradley Manning, United States, Sexuality, of April 24, 2014, two military psychiatrists have diagnosed the recruit with gender identity disorder which is used to describe people whose sexual identity is in conflict with their physical identity.

In explaining the well-publicized transformation, Manning has offered declarations like this one: “this is a better, more meaningful and more honest reflection of who I am and who I have always been: a woman named Chelsea”.

And in turn, Lauren McNamara, defender of the rights of transgendered people and a witness at Manning’s trial has stated “being recognized by the name that one chooses to reflect what one is, is a question of basic dignity.”

In the end, Bradley or Chelsea seem to be (or are trying to show they are) two beings in one who are willing to face any risk, even public derision, for freedom.

Is this or that Manning an incredibly brave person or simply someone who will do anything to achieve public notoriety?

I leave the question open for discussion.

Dariela Aquique

Dariela Aquique: I remember my years as a high school student, especially that teacher who would interrupt the reading of works and who with surprising histrionics spoke of the real possibilities of knowing more about the truth of a country through its writers than through historical chronicles. From there came my passion for writing and literature. I had excellent teachers (sure, those were not the days of the Fast-track Teachers) and extemporization and the non-mastery of subjects was not tolerated. With humble pretenses, I want to contribute to revealing the truth about my country, where reality always overcomes fiction, but where a novel style shrouds its existence.

30 thoughts on “Manning: Bradley or Chelsea

  • May 26, 2014 at 2:03 pm

    If Manning had been in the Wermacht, the Nazi’s would have executed him for being a homosexual.

  • May 18, 2014 at 9:05 pm

    Yeah right, like I know that. The Castros don’t exactly publish the statistics detailing their tyranny. I can name at least three strong possibilities though. Laura Pollan, Oswaldo Paya and Juan Wilfredo Soto. Don’t be naïve nor assume that I am. The Castros are murderers.

  • May 18, 2014 at 7:09 pm

    How many people have been executed in Cuba in the past ten years. ?

  • May 18, 2014 at 7:08 pm

    If Manning had been a soldier in the Nazi Wermacht and revealed Hitler’s atrocities to the world, he’d have been considered a hero .
    History will absolve him because when the American Empire falls a great many horrific facts will become public knowledge that are now under wraps forever.
    Manning is precisely in the same situation in revealing war crimes and other acts that the government does not allow the electorate to know about.
    That’s the sort of secrecy that is death to any democracy wherein an informed electorate is essential.
    Were the electorate to know the whole truth about imperial atrocities , they would support Chelsea Manning overwhelmingly unless that same electorate has lost all sense of morality…
    like the good German people who knew NOTHING …about what their beloved Fuhrer was doing either.

  • May 17, 2014 at 5:26 am

    Dear Jacob, you need to inform yourself. Chelsea is not a crossdresser. If veterans can’t get medical treatment, that has nothing to do with Chelsea, take that up with the government.

  • May 16, 2014 at 6:19 am


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