Race Card, Meet Gay Card

Busy, busy, busy:

Early Struggles of Soldier Charged in Leak Case TOTALLY justify his sleazy, treasonous behavior

(Okay, so that’s not the exact headline the New York Times slapped on their slobbering love letter to Bradley Manning, but it seemed close enough.)

I don’t know where to begin. The only redeeming quality of this piece is that they didn’t somehow invoke the race card. (Poor, beleaguered British immigrants…won’t someone please think of them?) Instead, less than three sentences into the thing, they invoke what may grow to be come the progressive machine’s new best friend…the gay card:

He spent part of his childhood with his father in the arid plains of central Oklahoma, where classmates made fun of him for being a geek. He spent another part with his mother in a small, remote corner of southwest Wales, where classmates made fun of him for being gay.

Nerdy and homosexual? Oh, the humanity.

Then he joined the Army, where, friends said, his social life was defined by the need to conceal his sexuality under “don’t ask, don’t tell” and he wasted brainpower fetching coffee for officers.

Can we somehow blame Bush for this complete and utter lack of fabulousness? Because blaming his soldier father, struggling mother, former classmates, Bible-belt upbringing, and the entirety of the population of the UK doesn’t seem to be enough:

Sometimes, former classmates said, he reacted to the teasing by idly boasting about stealing other students’ girlfriends. At other times, he openly flirted with boys. Often, with only the slightest provocation, he would launch into fits of rage.

“It was probably the worst experience anybody could go through,” said Rowan John, a former classmate who was openly gay in high school. “Being different like me, or Bradley, in the middle of nowhere is like going back in time to the Dark Ages.”

So, that happened. Later in the article, we come to find out Manning was a completely intolerable jackass who joined the Army in an attempt to get his life together. (I feel safe.) Apparently, the utter meanness of his superiors and colleagues caused Manning to “cling to” his “hacker friends,” and in what was probably a cry for help/attention/more pity/a hug, release classified information to WikiLeaks.

In a computer chat with Mr. Lamo, Private Manning said he gave the video to WikiLeaks in February. Then, after WikiLeaks released it in April, Private Manning hounded Mr. Watkins about whether there had been any public reaction. “That was one of his major concerns once he’d done this,” Mr. Watkins told Wired. “Was it really going to make a difference?”

In his computer chats with Mr. Lamo, Private Manning described how he downloaded the video and lip-synched to Lady Gaga as he copied hundreds of thousand of diplomatic cables.

“Hillary Clinton and several thousand diplomats around the world are going to have a heart attack,” he boasted. But even as he professed a perhaps inflated sense of purpose, he called himself “emotionally fractured” and a “wreck” and said he was “self-medicating like crazy.”

And as he faces the possibility of a lifetime in prison, some of Private Manning’s remarks now seem somewhat prophetic.

“I wouldn’t mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much,” he wrote, “if it wasn’t for the possibility of having pictures of me plastered all over the world press.”

Ask and you shall receive, Mr. Manning. You wanted your picture plastered all over the world press? Wish granted. Truth be told, you’re lucky the contents of your skull aren’t plastered all over a far-flung rock face. That’s all I have to say to you.

This is serious. We’re devolving. We’ve used the race card to justify murder, and now we’re oh-so-stealthily using the gay card to justify this whiny, self-absorbed, soulless traitor’s betrayal of American soldiers, and the civilians who help them fight. Blame his past, blame his colleagues, blame whoever you want, as long as you don’t blame this man’s own selfish disdain for the value of another human life.

Manning sought infamy, but I say we should allow him one more moment in the limelight. Let’s send him over to Afghanistan, and let the Taliban thank him in person for a job well done.

He deserves it.


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