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Chelsea Manning Breaks Silence, Speaks Out On ISIS

Manning

Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the U.S. intelligence analyst who made headlines in 2013 after leaking thousands of classified documents depicting abuse and torture being carried out by U.S. soldiers to WikiLeaks, recently took to The Guardian to share her thoughts on how the American military could best deal with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, colloquially known as ISIL or ISIS. They key to dismantling the jihadist group, Manning says, is to let its leaders prove how unsustainable its hypothetical caliphate would be in reality.

“Let Isis succeed in setting up a failed ‘state’ – in a contained area and over a long enough period of time to prove itself unpopular and unable to govern,” she reasons. “This might begin to discredit the leadership and ideology of Isis for good.”

Manning also points out that the U.S. isn’t doing enough to combat ISIS’s well documented and effective use of social media to spread its propagandistic messages. In addition to a physical presence within Iraq and Syria, she says the U.S. needs to “counter [ISIS’s] narrative” that the organization uses to recruit youth fighters into its ranks.

Reactions to Manning’s piece have been mixed, but generally positive. Ben Kesling, a marine Corps veteran and Wall Street Journal reporter, took issue with Manning’s logic considering her rank at the time of her dishonorable discharge.

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News: David Beckham, Indiana, 'Hot Felon,' Wyoming

RoadService members celebrate Pride Month in Afghanistan: "U.K. Chaplain Squadron Leader Alex Hopson led the community in prayer stating, “You have broken down barriers. You have made rainbows dance in our eyes. You have offered us dreams that reach for the galaxies. You have awakened the long craving for love.”

Little RoadRuPaul’s Drag Race fan favorite Jujubee made the dreams of one of his biggest--and tiniest--fans come true at Rhode Island Pride: "That’s my baby Jeffrey. Thank you all for making his day brighter yesterday. He’s never met anyone else like himself and has been bullied for years. I am so proud of him for meeting such a cruel world with the biggest smile everyday. And juju he says he’s never washing that skirt and shirt because you held him in it. you have no idea what a difference you have made in his life!! Luv ya."

RoadDan Savage appears in the NYT Crossword Puzzle.

RoadDavid Beckham jumps into his skivvies again for H&M.

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RoadFormer French President Nicolas Sarkozy faces corruption charges: "Sarkozy is accused of tapping political allies to gain intelligence on a flurry of probes linked to campaign finance. He has vigorously denied wrongdoing and planned to address the latest allegations on television Wednesday."

RoadOpinion: Did the Human Rights Campaign Sell Us Out on ENDA and Outsource LGBT Rights?

RoadChicago Pride saw 1 million turn out this past weekend in the first year since IL legalized marriage equality.

RoadThe Cambridges watch Wimbledon, look normal and adorable doing so

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RoadThe first same-sex marriages to happen in Boulder, Colorado actually took place almost 40 years ago.

RoadSo-called 'hot felon' Jeremy Meeks signs with a modeling agent while still behind bars. 

RoadSherlock returning for a 4th season.

RoadRumors swirl that Beyonce hinted that Jay Z cheated on her.

RoadHarry Styles shows off his ink while hanging out in Lake Como. 

Road11 major obstacles to full equality still faced by LGBT Americans

Joe RoadPeople names Joe Manganiello hottest bachelor. No one complains. 

RoadChallengers to Wyoming's same-sex marriage ban ask state to declare the ban unconstitutional, citing tidal wave of court cases in favor of marriage equality: "The couples’ papers note that since last June, every state and federal court to consider the issue has ruled in favor of the freedom to marry for same-sex couples.  On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the federal government’s discrimination against married same-sex couples violates the federal constitutional requirements of equal protection and due process. Since then, courts in 17 states have struck down state laws prohibiting marriage for same-sex couples or refusing to respect the existing marriages of same-sex couples."

RoadNew music from Imogen Heap coming in August.

RoadRapper who cut off his penis while high on PCP plans to do porn. When asked by TMZ if everything, er, works properly after doctors re-attached his severed penis, the Wu-Tang affiliated rapper said, "Does it work?!? Can Chris Brown dance? Can Kanye West rant? Can Jay Z fight off a trick?" 

RoadApparently, Shia LaBeouf did not enter rehab but is sobering up. 


Taliban Releases Video Showing Release of Bowe Bergdahl: WATCH

Bergdahl

The Taliban released a video to media on Wednesday showing the handover of Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl to Special Forces in eastern Afghanistan.

NPR reports:

President Obama today [Tuesday] defended the deal under which Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl was freed in exchange for high-level Taliban prisoners, saying his administration had consulted with Congress over a possible trade. And, he dismissed questions about how Bergdahl was captured by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan in June 2009.

"Regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be, we still get an American soldier back if he's held in captivity," Obama said at a news conference. "We don't condition that."

He said the U.S. has a "sacred" obligation to not leave service members behind.

Some members of Congress have expressed concerns over the details and the secrecy behind the exchange while some members of the military have deemed Bergdahl a hero, some a deserter.

Watch the exchange, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Taliban Releases Video Showing Release of Bowe Bergdahl: WATCH" »


U.S. Military Dog Taken as Prisoner of War in Afghanistan: VIDEO

Dog

Taliban forces in Afghanistan recently captured a military dog, a Belgian Malinois, in the first known instance of a dog being taken as a prisoner of war. Evidence of the captor was posted to Twitter this week by a known disseminator of Taliban propaganda, the WaPo reports:

A Taliban spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid, said the dog was captured after a long firefight between coalition forces and Taliban fighters in the Alin Nigar district of Afghanistan’s Laghman province in late December.

“The mujahideen valorously put tough resistance against the troops for hours,” he said in a phone interview Thursday. The dog, he said, carries the rank of colonel and was outfitted with sophisticated electronic devices.

“The dog was of high significance to the Americans,” he said.

The U.S. military has confirmed that the dog was captured after it was attached to a British special forces unit. It wears a protective vest and carried rifles and a GPS device that Taliban fighters hold in the video.

The dog can be seen looking sheepish and confused in the video.

“I know for sure the handler is devastated,” [Kevin Dredden, a former Air Force dog handler and Afghanistan veteran] said, noting the tight bonds that handlers and military dogs forge.

Dogs are given ranks that make them senior to their handlers, a practice designed to ensure that the humans treat the animals with deference. They have a rank patch on their body armor.

Watch the video, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "U.S. Military Dog Taken as Prisoner of War in Afghanistan: VIDEO" »


U.S. Service Members in Kandahar, Afghanistan Observe First LGBT Pride Event in Deployed Environment: VIDEO

Kandahar

The Department of Defense released an historic video today:

Service members deployed to Kandahar Airfield, Afghanistan observe the 1st Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, Transgender Pride Event in a deployed environment. Service members discuss what pride means, what they hope to accomplish, and why it is important to fight for equality.

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "U.S. Service Members in Kandahar, Afghanistan Observe First LGBT Pride Event in Deployed Environment: VIDEO" »


Wounded Afghan War Vet Becomes (Underwear) Model Of Inspiration: PHOTOS, VIDEO

Minsky1

The Underwear Expert recently sat down with Afghan war veteran turned underwear model Alex Minsky to talk about his journey back from the front-lines and transformation into a model of inspiration. Minksy, who lost his right leg after an IED exploded underneath him on June 1, 2009, has faced a daunting recovery:

"I came out of my coma and I was using alcohol as a tool to cope–to cope with the trauma that was going on in my own head and in my own life and I was like messed up, dude. I was real messed up. And then a series of very unfortunate events happened back to back to back bam bam bam. My younger brother passed away when he was 19 and I was 21 and then I used alcohol even more, to cope even more. It’s a progressive illness, so my alchoholism progressed further and further and further and I never slowed down. I felt that I was, that I deserved it. I felt like I was allowed to drink that much because, I don’t know.. because I could–because I wanted to. And that’s not the case. It was very unhealthy and it is very unhealthy and it was very, very bad for me. I don’t regret anything that I’ve done–any drinking, anything like that–but it’s not a healthy way of living. And it’s very hypocritical for me also because I promote healthy living all the time in every single aspect of my life. For years I’ve been promoting it in every other aspect of my life–except for my own personal abuse of alcohol. I would abuse the crap out of alcohol."

More than anything, Minksy hopes to be an inspiration to others.  He tells NBC 4 Los Angeles,

"Just because I don't have a leg doesn't mean it's going to slow me down. I want people to look at me and not give up. Not quit."

Check out a few more photos from Minsky's shoot with The Underwear Expert as well as a video from NBC 4 AFTER THE JUMP...

(all images Gabriel Gastelum exclusively for The Underwear Expert)

Continue reading "Wounded Afghan War Vet Becomes (Underwear) Model Of Inspiration: PHOTOS, VIDEO" »


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