1. gb says

    Something’s up. The celebrities are gathering. It’s headshot video message time!

  2. gb says

    Something’s up. The celebrities are gathering. It’s headshot video message time!

  3. Factoid says

    What’s up is awareness of history, and the rise in power of the security state where not only are they going after Manning, but have started to threatened reporters with prosecution.

    We are in a very dangerous place right now as a society. Its not just about Manning. The awareness of history is about how similar this is to the Pentagon Paper, and that leaks like they are a necessary part of a healthy democracy rather than one slowly moving towards a security state.

    First it was Manning, then Weakileaks, and now they are coming after establishment reporters. Who is next?

  4. JG says

    Just love being “outraged” 24/7? Self-imploding is fun too. You’ll find that today’s rage is tomorrow’s old magazine cover. It’s not awareness, it’s overdose. Believe me, I’ve lived through many more “scandals” than you. Is this a missive from the north?

  5. Factoid says

    When people don’t have anything to say to the substantive point, they turn it into a battle of personalities.

    Essentially the same statements would be attacking whoever is criticizing the security state.

    “oh, you are just stars!” “Oh you are just outraged” “oh, you are just….”

    Its not a real debate when one side is just not willing to do anything other than change the subject.

    What this is really about the power grab the state.

    Yo would not know that reading JG

  6. Factoid says

    By the way, I don’t care whether stars support this or not, but I do hope the point of what’s happening does start to get out there.

    There’s a lot of good this administration has done on gay rights. Civil liberties, the right of citizens to protest actions of our government, is not one of them.

    Manning is just a tip of a really large ice berg right now of the state silencing critiques through criminalizing the process of underscoring what the government is doing.

  7. Phillip says

    I’m really glad more people are becoming aware of this issue. Thanks to the people who made this advert. Hopefully, Bradley Manning will be absolved from this court martial.

  8. JG says

    This Manning story has been out for some time. It’s just coming to trial. If he weren’t gay I doubt he would be getting any play here. You’d have to check Slate. If you were not concerned about personality you might use your name Factoid. Your anger mirrors the Canadian. Everything you fear is dated cliche. Being militant is all you’ve got. It makes you feel relevant.

  9. MateoM says

    JG, your rant mirrors those of Ratbastard and Uffda. Perhaps you’re yet another alias of a known troll.

  10. Factoid says

    The issue, whenever you care to get to it JG, is the increasing power of the security state to quash dissent through criminalizing whistle blowing. I can understand why you don’t want to discuss that. I mean- who wants to defend anti-democratic principles- so of course you got to change the subject to make it about personality.

  11. Factoid says


    I kind of suspected its the same person too given the odd arguments being made.

    I make a point about security state powers on the rise, they attack me personally with a non sequitur that says nothing about the rising power of the security state. Seems like an ideologue with nothing left to defend their position other than changing the subject, and how many of those are on this site?

  12. JG says

    I don’t play the troll game. This site is spooky that way. My thoughts and words are mine. This is a gay chat line — Not “Face The Nation’ Keep talking code you losers.

  13. m says

    this case has nothing to do with Bradley being gay. He downloaded classified documents. Given his position and security clearance he no doubt was aware of the consequences. His reasons are not a defense even if he believed them to be honorable. The celebrities aren’t going to be much help to him. And really these people would have done the same thing????

  14. Factoid says

    So, JG, you think its not only your job to turn a serious discussion about the power of the state into one about personality, but to tell the owner of the site what he can and cannot post on his own site?


  15. FakeOutrage says

    Factoid, unfortunately many people simply do not agreed that leaking military documents on such a large scale without regards for the impact they may have (whether they did in fact cause harm or just in theory could have) and then being held accountable for such an act is an example of the “rising police state”. And then to use fear (“you and me are next”) tactics is simply more of the same that got us into unjust wars in the first place.

  16. from Mexico says

    @ Factoid

    It is not possible for the neocons/neoliberals to win a debate based on either empirical evidence or moral principles. Substantive debate is thus off the talbe, so they must make it about their harebrained ideology (which is nothing but a tautology), emotions, or personalities.

    With two devastating defeats in Iraq and Afghanistan now under their belt, the domestic economy in shambles, the neocons/neoliberals have reduced the US to a state where it is hemoraging money and power like never before. And yet the imperial swagger and hubris — the quixotic quest for world hegemony and full spectrum dominance — continues as if nothing had ever happened.

    The most striking feature of these neocon/neoliberal types is their utter contempt for fact and reason.

  17. Factoids says

    JG your multiple screen names are sad.

    First, its not fake fear. Its called history, and current events. We know for a fact that the government through the Obama administration has been trying now to intimidate reporters with prosecution for investigating issues related to government actions that they don’t want the public to know about, whether its a security risk or not. We know this from from recent reports. we also know historically where this sort of secrecy has lead, both in the U.S. and abroad. Your lack of fear is not a sign that you are a rational person here. Its a sign that you are either in denial or lacking in basic understanding of what all of this means.

    In addition, it doesn’t matter the volume of documents that were released. if the government wants to claim these documents produced harm they need to produce the specific harm it produced rather than vaguely stating that any release of information deemed classified is per se a threat. By that standard, anything, including the Pentagon Papers, including any whistle blower who tells the public about corrupt, illegal or embarassing acts of the government would be considered a threat. Its an overbroad application of language that already extremely lose.

    the problem here is that you are an ideologue. You don’t seem to care about the ramification or meaning of these various acts by the administration to limit civil liberties and chill dissent.

  18. Factoids says

    Mexico, I don’t want to assume that everyone who happens to be an ideologue is per se impervious to analysis

    I know that you are likely right, but I don’t want to assume it.

  19. from Mexico says

    @ FakeOutrage

    Obama wants invisible government behind which to hide his adminstrative massacres and other official misdeeds.

    Just what is it about that which you believe the American public does not have a right to know?

  20. Mike Ryan says

    Gay or not you should support Bradley Manning. If you blow the whistle on crime you shouldn’t be put in prison. That’s just what our government has done to Bradley Manning.

  21. HA! says

    Hmmm— so we are to take up the mantle of
    a traitor because he is gay? Sorry, not on a bet. He released secrets to the public and the enemy. regardless of how altruistic he thought he was being.

    I actually believe he is being used as a patsy.

  22. Herman says

    How sad that people see a hero in this guy and all I see is another sad queen seeking attention. Only this time he put the lives of innocent people in jeopardy.
    I am not a conservative but I do think we need to stop and look at the background of this guy. Did he do it to expose an injustice or did he do it to get back at people for the loneliness of a “Gay” life.
    We Gay people have all been there at some point when we want to lash out at anyone for bullying or not being invited to “Cinderella’s Ball(s).
    Please consider the real “Why” of the leaks before you jump on the Manning bandwagon.

  23. from Mexico says

    The anti-Manning brigade reeks of astroturfing.

    On these threads, where anonymity is possible, they’re out in droves.

    But at the SF Pride public meeting last friday evening, they could muster a grand total of only 3 flesh and blood human beings to appear and make the anti-Manning case. That’s in comparison to 70 who commented in favor of reinstating Manning as grand marshal, with dozens more waiting in the wings who didn’t get to comment due to time constraints.

    Sean Sala’s much touted anti-Manning petition managed to garner only 250 signatures, despite being circulated nationwide.

    What we observe is an all-out attempt by elite public relations types to influence public opinion. However, if the SF Pride public meeting is any indication, it isn’t working.

  24. Factoids says

    1. The fact he’s trans-questioning (not gay) is what makes the site interested in him. The fact you don’t seem to know the difference between trans questionign and gay makes me curious about your connection to being queer

    2. The issue is just what defense attorneys do Its zealous representation

    3. Its not about Manning. he’s a symbol of a greater issue. He’s not a hero. He’s also not a traitor. he’s a human being who decided to blow the whistle The question from a legal stand point is do we want to live in a society where the government can prosecute whistle blowers simply by labeling all information as government secrets. What’s to prevent the abuses that we have already seen the administration do with reporters from expanding?

    So far, the anti Manning people are making a poor showing here. Essentially you are reduced to emotional labels because you believe it activates the in group mind set of “Me American, YOu traitor” but the real issue is about what it means to be an American. For me, its not just a label. Its about living in a democracy. Part of that is open government because one i n secrecy isn’t democratic.

    See how I state my principle there, can you state yours in a way that doesn’t come across as authoritarian?

  25. says

    Responsible whistleblowing is an incredibly important form of speaking up. You may poke fun at the fact that, ooh, look – the celebs are banding together, putting on a video. But stars have a louder voice than the lots of us leaving comments on Towleroad. Had I not seen this I probably would have gone another day not knowing about Bradley Manning (for shame!). So now I’m catching up on this. Elsewhere. ‘Cause I know most of the comments here will be doing the exact opposite of what Manning did, which was to stick out his neck.

  26. m says

    what did Bradley hope to accomplish? what did his disclosure actually do? it certainly didn’t seem to help him. If you work with a security clearance there are many things you are privy to. Do you have the right to share information that is not meant for disclosure to anyone? This is sad. It’s not political. Whistleblowers are usually not in the military. It usually deals with civilians in government or the private sector. The question might be why didn’t the higher ups see problems with the same information and take appropriate actions. Why would a low ranking enlistee take this on? Very risky with no clear reasons.

  27. EchtKultig says

    I’m not anti or pro Manning, per se. He was a naive, insecure kid who broke a law; but when you get a clearance you attend several hearings making it quite clear you WILL be prosecuted if you are found to have broken that law. Even a naive, insecure kid should have been able to understand that.
    The bigger issue here is that:
    a) he shouldn’t have had a clearance
    b) he probably shouldn’t have been in the military at all – NOT because he was gay but because he had known psychological/adjustment issues. It’s not exactly common knowledge (but neither is it classified) that during the height of the Iraq War, recruitment was darn near becoming a crisis. Of course they didn’t exactly phrase it that way. They lowered a lot of bars they shouldn’t have.
    c) the SCIF he was in should never have been so lacking in security that he could take what he did. I’ve worked in properly secured SCIFs, and I know I would have been caught doing what he did.

    But the military, like any big organization, will seek a scapegoat…and that they did.

  28. from Mexico says

    For a case study in astroturfing, just take a look at this thread. At first we get a number of anti-Manning comments that are long on glibness and flipancy, but devoid of any meaningful content.

    And then we get Herman’s comment, which provides the perfect example of a comment that just doesn’t ring true.

    Herman, for instance, tells us all he sees in Manning “is another sad queen seeking attention.” Sad queen? This is something right straight out of Army psyops. The appeal here is to anti-gay stereotypes, the implication being that queens are sad. If Herman would have said “another sad young man seeking attention,” he wouldn’t have given his anti-gay animus away.

    Then Herman tells us “Only this time he put the lives of innocent people in jeopardy.” Well again, this is nothing more than a talking point, portrayed as if it were self-evident and beyond dispute, that comes right straight out of Army psyops. It is nothing less than the Army’s prosecution argument.

    Then Herman tells us “I am not a conservative.” Yea right.

    Then Herman tells us Manning did it “to get back at people for the loneliness of a ‘Gay’ life.” The loneliness of a gay life? I mean this sounds like something Paul Cameron, Pat Robertson or James Dobson would dream up, something that comes right straight off the pages of Free Republic.

    Then Herman tells us “We Gay people have all been there at some point.” Well I hate to tell you this, Herman, but I am gay and I hardly consider my life to be sad or lonely, or at least any sadder or lonelier than any other person: gay, straight or otherwise.

  29. Kev C says

    Maybe if we had a gay-friendly president or commander in chief, someone who could issue a pardon.

    But we don’t.

    But we could at least charge John McCain with aiding and abetting the enemy too.

  30. EchtKultig says

    BTW, I’m not really considering the question of whether what he did will ultimately contribute to world peace or whatnot. It’s an interesting question, no doubt. But again, you can’t be angry at the military for following through on their own policies. Sorry. That’s just my view. Just as sure as some homophobic sargeant will have to suck it up and accept having gays in his unit, Bradley will have to deal with the policies he broke. If you believe he did something noble, fine, he will be a noble martyr. Because…you know that shock when you hear the end of “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson? Got ready for it. They are not going to go easy on him. They love being able to set examples.

  31. EchtKultig says

    Maybe if we had a gay-friendly president or commander in chief,

    We do. That doesn’t mean the military is going to throw its security policies out the window.
    I am NOT conservative by the way, as anyone who knows my posts will know. I’ve gotten into bloody battles with moronic republican trolls. I’m not defending the foolhardy Iraq war. I’m just saying this has nothing to do with Manning being gay or trans-questioning, he isn’t being singled out, it’s because he broke the law. Was he ultimately insecure because he was trans-questioning? Perhaps. He came from a what seems like a very broken, midwestern family that was to some degree homophobic. His father thought going into the military would “man him up.” Ridiculous. But from the what I’ve read of his time, he wasn’t ready for it and was very unhappy in the military.

  32. chris says

    Vaguely off-topic (and, by the way, “We Steal Secrets,” just opening, does a great job on the Manning story) but I think it may be correct to call Manning both “gay” and “transquestioning.” He says he’s into men, but his question is whether he’s trans. He has not indicated that he knows the answer to that question and, for now, he is a man so that makes him gay, no?

  33. Kev C says

    Obama has already made prejudicial statements about Manning breaking the law. Some Constitutional scholar he turned out to be, huh? He probably rolled his copy of the Constitution into a giant spliff and did roof hits with Kal Penn.

  34. from Mexico says

    @ EchtKultig said: Manning “had knwn psychological/adjustment issues.”

    Well he certainly did if Army psyops are to be believed.,

  35. EchtKultig says

    Are statements of fact considered prejudicial statements? Manning admitted to what he did. It’s not like he’s saying he’s been framed.

    “rolled his copy of the Constitution into a giant spliff”

    Now that’s a troll. Sorry you haven’t been able to get over having an African-American president yet.

  36. EchtKultig says

    LOL Mexico…
    I’m impressed “army psyops” were able to turn:

    many of Manning’s former and current friends
    his family
    the writer of that excellent long article about him (was it in Slate? can’t remember)

    If they were that good at doing what they do, wouldn’t they have quashed all opposition to the Iraq War?

  37. Kev C says

    Calling Obama a gay ally is a stretch. More like a reluctant opportunist. But his policies and his attitude on this subject show him to be the war-mongering megalomaniac that he is. He’s on the wrong side of history with this, and with his support of the FSA and the PM of Turkey. Obama is aiding and abetting enemies of the US and has the gall to charge a whistleblower with charges he should be charged with himself.

  38. from Mexico says

    @ EchtKultig

    Funny how everything you write is nothing more than a repetition of talking points that are part and parcel of an elaborate and well-orchestrated media campaign that has one purpose and one purpose only: to demonize Bradley Manning.

    We’re talking mens rea here — not WHAT Manning did, but WHY he did it. Did he do it because he was “another sad queen seeking attention,” as your compatriot put it, or did he do it as an act of civil disobedience? You’ve made it clarion where you stand on the issue — side by side with the Army prosecutors.

    You’re nothing short of a walking and talking Manning prosecution machine.

  39. EchtKultig says

    I find it amusing to be so mischaracterized, but suit yourself. I’ve actually seen very little – as in nothing – in the media on the question of whether Army higher-ups should be held accountable for the fact that the SCIF was not secure. Please, do feel free to post a link to an article about that aspect of the story. Good night and good luck…

  40. Kev C says

    The only person charged with any crime at all is Bradley Manning.

    Because he’s gay.

  41. from Mexico says

    @ EchtKultig


    You gave yourself away with your first rattle out of the box, what with all those Nixonian law and order legalisms about “breaking the law.” Or was it Adolf Eichmann you were channelling? After all, as he was quick to point out to the court in Jerusalem, he not only “obeyed orders, but also obeyed the law” when he loaded all those innocent people on box cars and shipped them off to the death camps.

    All the way from Núremberg to the teachings of Martin Luther King, it is more than clear that one has an obligation to break immoral laws.

  42. from Mexico says

    @ EchtKultig

    And by the way, here’s the link you requested from a story in “The Kansas City Star,” where they blithely lump Manning together with every rapist, psychopath and war criminal in the US military:

    “Eugene Fidell, a veteran teaching military justice at Yale, said, however, that we should not lose sight that the U.S. military is generally made up of well-behaved troops with a low level of criminality and few incidents of desertion and insubordination….

    “But people should be concerned that these things are happening all at once,” Fidell said. “Red flags are obviously being missed. Even personnel matters that are staring them right in the face. Hasan [charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder at Ft. Hood] clearly showed he should not have been in his job. Private Manning should never have had security clearance.”

    Read more here:

  43. Bill Perdue says

    Brad Manning is a hero for refusing to say, like Eichmann, “I was just following orders.”

    He did his duty and reported incidents of mass murder that characterize wars of mad dog warmongers like the Clintons, the Bushes and Obama. Sign the petition and donate.

  44. Bill Perdue says

    The above comment was by me. You may see false name comments by DNC Obots. Ignore them. They’re just disinformation from the DNC.

    These are links false name posts by someone who hacked by Facebook account and there may be others. If you see them complain to Towleroad and ask them to ban them based on the IP or origin.

  45. gwyneth cornrow says

    I’m moved by the more thoughtful and rational comments on here (particularly Factoids and Mexico).

  46. EchtKultig says

    Lots of false conflations here. Yes, I’ve read Hannah Arendt too. Yes, I think unjust laws should be broken. I’m just pointing out that, just as Nelson Mandela spent a lot of time in prison, if you do so against a sufficiently motivated state power, don’t be surprised by the outcome. But the US military is not an apartheid state; it is an organization with a lot of *clearly* defined rules. Some of those rules *clearly* state that if you do what Bradley did, you will be prosecuted.

    Notice the unlike the other people with whom you allege to me part of a vast conspiracy, I don’t call him a traitor or say he should be shot, etc. I specifically don’t address that aspect of his agency; he may well have thought he was doing something that would benefit his country in the longterm. I’ve just pointed out that isn’t something the military is going to consider anywhere near being an “excuse”.

    He was smart to choose a bench trial only. I think if he’s very lucky, a sympathetic judge will balance the huge organizational need to have him serve as an example with leniency. 10 years? I think that would be the minimum he could get. I would _personally_ be very happy for him if the judge said he’d already suffered enough. I’m just saying, that ain’t gonna happen folks. I think the chances of enlisteds and officers offering similar leniency would have been virtually nil. Again, I PERSONALLY wish him the best. I see him as a misguided kid who made a terrible _personal_ mistake, terms of the consequences he was going to suffer from it. It doesn’t matter if it has long-term benefits to the world. The military isn’t going to care about that when their security policies/law were violated. It’s something they take very, very seriously. Deadly seriously. Could he have released the info to select American journalists and suffered reduced consequences? Possibly. As it is they see what he did as a worse case scenario, and the prosecutors? They want worst-case scenario punishment.

  47. from Mexico says

    @ gwyneth cornrow

    Even when the Obama and military propagandists assume some small amount of culpability by admitting that Manning should not have had security clearance, you will notice that the subtext remains the same: Manning is defective. It’s the same old hackneyed tautology but with a little bit different veneer, a little bit different spin. These people are so thoroughly brainwashed that the thought that it is Obama and the military, and not Manning, who are defective would never even cross their minds.

    Sometimes entire societies can become pathological and dysfunctional. For instance, speaking of such a society in “The True Believer,” Eric Hoffer laments that “It colors my thinking and shapes my attitude toward events. I can never forget that one of the most gifted, best educated nations in the world, of its own free will, surrendered its fate into the hands of a maniac.”

    Or as Hannah Arendt put it in “Eichmann in Jerusalem,”

    HANNAH ARENDT: “Eichmann needed only to recall the past in order to feel assured that he was not lying and that he was not deceiving himself, for he and the world he lived in had once been in perfect harmony. And that German society of eighty million people had been shielded against reality and factuality by exactly the same means, the same self-deception, lies, and stupidity that had now become ingrained in Eichmann’s mentality. These changed from year to year, and they frequently contradicted each other; moreover, they were not necessarily the same for the various branches of the Party hierarchy or the people at large. But the practice of self-deception had become so common, almost a moral prerequisite for survival, that even now, eighteen years after the collapse of the Nazi regime, when most of the specific content of its lies has been forgotten, it is sometimes difficult not to believe that mendacity has become an integral part of German national character.”

    The Obama and army propagandists have engineered an elaborate PR campaign to cast Manning as an unstable. deranged and vengeful young gay man, appealing to every anti-gay stereotype in the book. The reality, however, is something quite different: Bradley Manning is a highly principled young man who refused to participate in Obama’s and the military’s insane and immoral world. As Kurt Vonnegut so famously put it: “A sane person to an insane society must appear insane.”

  48. EchtKultig says

    And I said in my original post…
    “Again, I PERSONALLY wish him the best. I see him as a misguided kid who made a terrible _personal_ mistake, terms of the consequences he was going to suffer from it.”

    But who was aided in making those mistakes by several layers of incompetence in the ranks of officers. The officer who ignored warnings about his psychological state, and the one who was responsible for the SCIF where he stole information…should also be reprimanded or punished.

  49. Factoids says


    Either you don’t get it or you do

    The point is not to expect people go really go to jail

    is it a risk?


    Is it something we should just throw out hands up at the injustice of a whistle blower going to jail?

    Your logic is perverse

    Its that of the docile lamb awaiting the slaughter because that’s the law

    Is the law just?

    Is that what we want from a our democracy?

    Mandela was let out because the laws were considered unjust and changed

    No one sees his imprisonment as a good thing merely because that was what the law said

    What a twisted view of the justice you have

  50. says

    i take great solace in seeing that all of Manning’s detrators on here have capers for testes and cannot put a face to their comments.

    Manning – stay strong.

  51. RandySF says

    @Little Kiwi, perhaps some of us like to keep our internet discussions separate from our videos of ourselves in our underwear smacking our dog’s bellies? It’s not cowardice, as I have the exact same conversations and opinions on my facebook page with my friends… perhaps it’s just lack of vanity that keeps me from sharing it with every gay in the world?

    I think EchtKultig makes a very strong case here.

    I think all this focussing on whistle-blowing is disingenuous revisionist history. Let’s just say that the prosecutors drop the charges that relate to the few videos of mass murder… would they still be justified in charging him for releasing all the other information that he released indiscriminately that had nothing to do with those videos?

    Or to put it another way, is there ANY justification in your heads for the concept of state secrets?

  52. Kev C says

    RandySF, the problem is that the government doesn’t have a right to keep secrets from the american public. We allow the government some operational secrecy, especially in regard to ongoing wars. But wars are supposed to end and someone is supposed to win them. Endless war calls for endless secrecy, and that’s just unconstitutional and unamerican.

  53. says

    Kev C points it out. folks want transparency, folks got transparency, and didnt’ like what it showed.

    calling Manning a traitor is as asinine as calling michael moore “anti-American”

    the anti-american traitors are every bloody idiot who’s supported the GOP for the last 20 years.