Showing posts with label Wiki Leaks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wiki Leaks. Show all posts

September 23, 2017

FaceBook is The Creator Frankenstein and Maybe It Can't Be Control for Russian Evil?

 Make sure you know what this is because it might be in your computer already. (Reuters pic)

Victor Frankenstein, looking over a creature he had made, eventually realized that he couldn’t control his creation. CreditHammer Film, via Photofest 
[This page was writen by in the The New York Times]
On Wednesday, in response to a ProPublica report that Facebook enabled advertisers to target users with offensive terms like “Jew hater,” Sheryl Sandberg, the company’s chief operating officer, apologized and vowed that the company would adjust its ad-buying tools to prevent similar problems in the future.
As I read her statement, my eyes lingered over one line in particular:
“We never intended or anticipated this functionality being used this way — and that is on us,” Ms. Sandberg wrote.
It was a candid admission that reminded me of a moment in Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” after the scientist Victor Frankenstein realizes that his cobbled-together creature has gone rogue.
“I had been the author of unalterable evils,” he says, “and I lived in daily fear lest the monster whom I had created should perpetrate some new wickedness.”
If I were a Facebook executive, I might feel a Frankensteinian sense of unease these days. The company has been hit with a series of scandals that have bruised its image, enraged its critics and opened up the possibility that in its quest for global dominance, Facebook may have created something it can’t fully control. Facebook is fighting through a tangled morass of privacy, free-speech and moderation issues with governments all over the world. Congress is investigating reports that Russian operatives used targeted Facebook ads to influence the 2016 presidential election. In Myanmar, activists are accusing Facebook of censoring Rohingya Muslims, who are under attack from the country’s military. In Africa, the social network faces accusations that it helped human traffickers extort victims’ families by leaving up abusive videos.
Few of these issues stem from willful malice on the company’s part. It’s not as if a Facebook engineer in Menlo Park personally greenlighted Russian propaganda, for example. On Thursday, the company said it would release political advertisements bought by Russians for the 2016 election, as well as some information related to the ads, to congressional investigators.
But the troubles do make it clear that Facebook was simply not built to handle problems of this magnitude. It’s a technology company, not an intelligence agency or an international diplomatic corps. Its engineers are in the business of building apps and selling advertising, not determining what constitutes hate speech in Myanmar. And with two billion users, including 1.3 billion who use it every day, moving ever greater amounts of their social and political activity onto Facebook, it’s possible that the company is simply too big to understand all of the harmful ways people might use its products.
“The reality is that if you’re at the helm of a machine that has two billion screaming, whiny humans, it’s basically impossible to predict each and every possible nefarious use case,” said Antonio García Martínez, author of the book “Chaos Monkeys” and a former Facebook advertising executive. “It’s a Whac-a-Mole problem.”
Elliot Schrage, Facebook’s vice president of communications and public policy, said in a statement: “We work very hard to support our millions of advertisers worldwide, but sometimes — rarely — bad actors win. We invest a lot of time, energy and resources to make these rare events extinct, and we’re grateful to our community for calling out where we can do better.” When Mark Zuckerberg built Facebook in his Harvard dorm room in 2004, nobody could have imagined its becoming a censorship tool for repressive regimes, an arbiter of global speech standards or a vehicle for foreign propagandists.
But as Facebook has grown into the global town square, it has had to adapt to its own influence. Many of its users view the social network as an essential utility, and the company’s decisions — which posts to take down, which ads to allow, which videos to show — can have real life-or-death consequences around the world. The company has outsourced some decisions to complex algorithms, which carries its own risks, but many of the toughest choices Facebook faces are still made by humans.
“They still see themselves as a technology middleman,” said Mr. García Martínez. “Facebook is not supposed to be an element of a propaganda war. They’re completely not equipped to deal with that.”  
Even if Mr. Zuckerberg and Ms. Sandberg don’t have personal political aspirations, as has been rumored, they are already leaders of an organization that influences politics all over the world. And there are signs that Facebook is starting to understand its responsibilities. It has hired a slew of counterterrorism experts and is expanding teams of moderators around the world to look for and remove harmful content.
On Thursday, Mr. Zuckerberg said in a video posted on Facebook that the company would take several steps to help protect the integrity of elections, like making political ads more transparent and expanding partnerships with election commissions.
“We will do our part not only to ensure the integrity of free and fair elections around the world, but also to give everyone a voice and to be a force for good in democracy everywhere,” he said.
But there may not be enough guardrails in the world to prevent bad outcomes on Facebook, whose scale is nearly inconceivable. Alex Stamos, Facebook’s security chief, said last month that the company shuts down more than a million user accounts every day for violating Facebook’s community standards. Even if only 1 percent of Facebook’s daily active users misbehaved, it would still mean 13 million rule breakers, about the number of people in Pennsylvania.
In addition to challenges of size, Facebook’s corporate culture is one of cheery optimism. That may have suited the company when it was an upstart, but it could hamper its ability to accurately predict risk now that it’s a setting for large-scale global conflicts.
Several current and former employees described Facebook to me as a place where engineers and executives generally assume the best of users, rather than preparing for the worst. Even the company’s mission statement — “Give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together” — implies that people who are given powerful tools will use those tools for socially constructive purposes. Clearly, that is not always the case.
Hiring people with darker views of the world could help Facebook anticipate conflicts and misuse. But pessimism alone won’t fix all of Facebook’s issues. It will need to keep investing heavily in defensive tools, including artificial intelligence and teams of human moderators, to shut down bad actors. It would also be wise to deepen its knowledge of the countries where it operates, hiring more regional experts who understand the nuances of the local political and cultural environment.
Facebook could even take a page from Wall Street’s book, and create a risk department that would watch over its engineering teams, assessing new products and features for potential misuse before launching them to the world.
Now that Facebook is aware of its own influence, the company can’t dodge responsibility for the world it has helped to build. In the future, blaming the monster won’t be enough.

August 12, 2017

Chelsea Manning No longer in the Past But Like You Have Never Seen Her Before

Adamfoxie* has been following Chelsea Manning from the day she was arrested as a very young, skinny cataloguer of confidential documents for the U.S. government. It seemed so unfair at the time that the real culprit, a psychopathic name Assange was being given protection by other nations. Manning is the one because of his naivete that got caught holding the bag while others just disappeared in the dark. That was only the start because it got so much worse for him, he no longer wanted to stick around his own life. To the delight of this blog, he was pardoned by a president with a great heart President Obama. 

It is with a lot of pleasure we want to give you a story appearing on Vogue on their Sept. 2017 issue and written by and . I have a feeling we will hear a lot more from Chelsea.  It seems she just had it with sitting out in a corner out in the dark not been able to be heard and seen by anyone, sometimes not even her lawyers.

One hot, humid early-summer evening in New York, a hired car slows on Bleecker Street, and a young woman inside prepares for her first party out in years. She is wearing a midnight-colored semi formal dress by Altuzarra and Everlane ankle boots with heels. Her hair is trimmed into a pixie cut; her makeup softens, but won’t hide, a dust of freckles. “I don’t know if I’ll know anybody,” she fretted earlier, but she seems to have quelled what nerves remain. She is accompanied by a couple of men who surround her like guards. For the first time in a long time, that’s a welcome thing.
Chelsea Manning—graceful, blue-eyed, trans—smiles and prepares herself. Since her release from the Fort Leavenworth prison, on May 17, Manning has been living in New York, with a low profile. Tonight she will make her social debut in her own skin. From February to April 2010, while living as Bradley, an Army intelligence analyst stationed in Iraq, Manning sent three-quarters of a million classified or sensitive documents to WikiLeaks. The breach’s breadth was startling, as were its contents, ranging from the so-called Collateral Murder video, showing a U.S. helicopter killing a group of Baghdad pedestrians that included children and press, to hundreds of thousands of “Cablegate” documents, disclosing 44 years of State Department messages. When Manning’s role became clear, she turned into a polarizing figure—celebrated as a whistle-blower by some, condemned as a traitor by others. In August 2013, after pleading guilty to ten charges and being found guilty of 20, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison. The day after the sentencing, Manning came out publicly as trans.
Tonight, a summer Monday, is a different kind of coming-out. To honor the occasion, she has picked an event with a celebratory turn: the after-party for the Lambda Literary Awards, which each year honor books by members of the LGBTQ community. The evening is glamorous; the guest list is varied. Here Manning will reintroduce herself to a community in which she seeks acceptance for more than her heavy past.
The car stops in front of Le Poisson Rouge, a Washington Square art space. “I’m not sure how to do this,” Chase Strangio, an ACLU lawyer, murmurs in the front seat. A gregarious young man with a trim Clark Gable mustache, Strangio has emerged as one of the nation’s leading trans-rights lawyers, helping represent Gavin Grimm, the trans student in Virginia who challenged his exclusion from the boys’ bathroom at his high school, and successfully advocating for Manning’s hormone therapy in prison. With Manning now out in the world, however, he faces a new challenge: remaining alerted to unwelcome attention.
“I think that looks pretty discreet,” Tim Travers Hawkins, a filmmaker who’s making a documentary on Manning, says, judging the entry. When his project, executive-produced by Laura Poitras, started two years back, he intended to use Manning’s prison diaries to share a documentary with an invisible hero. Then, in the final days of his term, President Obama commuted Manning’s sentence. “It was kind of unbelievable,” Poitras says. “All the news had been so, so bad.” For Hawkins, Manning’s release introduced new imperatives. “It was a radical shift in the way the film existed,” Hawkins says. Tonight, he’s brought a compact camera along.
Manning, Strangio, and Hawkins clamber rapidly inside. A Lambda host guides Manning down a flight of steps. The party is just starting. At one end of the space, a platform, slightly raised above the dance floor, is marked off with a velvet rope. A plate of crudités awaits; Manning orders a gimlet. She’s extroverted, she says: “I love being around people.” While living as a man, she often went to clubs and parties, even in stodgy Washington, D.C. “People are a lot more open and outgoing in New York,” Manning explains. “In D.C., you really had to, like, know someone.” 
Music pounds through the room, which is dim and bathed in blue and fuchsia light. As space fills, a few brave souls approach Manning, then a few more. Soon the platform is packed with people hoping to take a flash-bleached selfie.
“I just wanted to say hello. You’re, like, a perfect hero.”
“I’m going to give you this card. We’d love to throw a party for your return.”
Manning seems startled by the attention. “Thank you!” she keeps saying. She is 29 now, with a confidence that, even in a novel city, hits like sunlight at high altitude. Though she’s petite—just a few inches over five feet—she speaks with a clarion directness, as if constantly projecting toward an unseen back row. In prison, she read the fashion press (“I missed seven years of fashion, but I went through every season in a magazine!”), and while she’s embraced her femininity, she eschews what she calls “fertility style”—“bunnies and hearts and stuff”—for more current, gender-neutral garments. While serving out her sentence, she got her hands on photos from Barneys’ 2014 trans campaign, shot by Bruce Weber. “That was a really important thing for me to see,” she says.
From the stage, the DJ mixes sharpen: “Uptown Funk,” “I Feel It Coming.” But there isn’t time to dance. She’s standing, greeting new faces from all sides, thanking, thanking some more. Her left arm is crossed over her belly, cradling her opposite elbow, which is straight. When Beyoncé’s “Love on Top” begins its climbing modulations, she uncrosses her arms and begins fidgeting—mindlessly, flirtatiously—with the charm on her gold necklace, drawing it back and forth between her thumb and forefinger. She says. She lets herself lean forward, laughing at a joke. When her newest friend wanders away, she turns around and smiles.
“I’m starting to loosen up!” she says.
When Manning was growing up in Crescent, a town of some 1,400 north of Oklahoma City, she struggled to pinpoint a reason she felt so awkward. “I knew that I was different,” she says. “I gravitated more toward playing house, but the teachers were always pushing me toward playing the more competitive games with the boys.” She recalls, “I spent so much time wondering, What’s wrong with me? Why can’t I fit in?” Sometimes she felt left behind; at other times, she leaped out in front. Once, she and a group of other kids were allowed to take a field trip to Frontier City, an amusement park known for its loopy, soaring Silver Bullet roller coaster. Other students were petrified. Manning couldn’t wait to get on and boarded the ride all alone: “I’m a bit of an adrenaline junkie, I think it’s safe to say.”
It’s a June afternoon, and we are sitting in a park along the Hudson River, a short walk from the sleek Tribeca building where Manning has been living since arriving in New York. Today she is dressed with a mixture of straightforward elegance and function: a casual black sleeveless Marc Jacobs dress with playful paisley lining, a small purse from The Row, Borderline boots by Vetements x Dr. Martens, and—the clinching touch—a black utility belt from 5.11 Tactical, a gear company that supplies law enforcement and the military. “I’ve been a huge fan of Marc Jacobs for many, many years, even going back to when I was wearing men’s clothing,” she explains. “He captures a kind of simplicity and a kind of beauty that I like—projecting strength through femininity.”
In Manning’s telling, strength was a necessity before it was a choice. When she was eleven, her father, a computer engineer who’d gotten his start in the Navy, announced that he was moving out, effectively ending his marriage. That night, her mother swallowed a bottle of pills, then told Chelsea’s older sister, Casey, what she’d done. On the hurried drive to the emergency room, the journalist Denver Nicks reports in Private, his book on Manning’s early life, it was Chelsea’s job to sit with her mother in the backseat and make sure that she did not stop breathing.
Over the months that followed, Casey and Chelsea, then still known as Bradley, struggled to manage their mother’s alcoholism while also learning to navigate basic domestic chores. Nicks reports that their mother, who’d grown up in Wales and married early, didn’t know how to write a check, let alone pay bills or seek alimony. “I had to learn how to do all of this stuff with my mother and also deal with the friction between my parents,” says Manning. “I loved them both, but they were angry at each other. I always felt like I was doing something wrong and I had caused it.” (Manning’s family members have declined interviews since her release.)
From twelve to thirteen, Manning grew up quickly. She realized that she was attracted to boys, and considered herself gay. Her father had introduced Manning to computers and programming at a young age, and Manning began to see the Internet—vast, anonymous, and full of answers—as an escape. “I learned that I wasn’t alone. I learned about all these different life possibilities and options,” she explains. She began to find her first natural identity. “Because I would actually be anonymous online, I could be more myself.”
The Web also held constant through a series of displacements. In November 2001, when Manning was just shy of fourteen, her mother decided to return to Wales and took Manning with her. (Casey had moved away; their father had remarried.) Her responsibilities increased as her mother’s health declined. In 2005, after a fluky brush with the July 7 London bombings—Manning says she was near King’s Cross station at the moment of the Tube explosions—she moved in with her father, his wife, and his stepson. That arrangement didn’t end well: Mounting tension ended with Manning allegedly brandishing a knife and her stepmother calling 911. Manning lived for a spell with a friend in Tulsa, then drifted to Chicago. In increasingly dire straits, she was taken in by her aunt Debbie, in suburban Maryland. She worked at Starbucks and Abercrombie & Fitch; she explored the LGBTQ scene of greater D.C.; she enrolled, briefly, in community college. At nineteen, she started seeing a psychologist for the first time.
“That’s the part of my life I replay the most: whether or not, living in Maryland and seeing a therapist, I could have finally been able to say, ‘This is who I am; this is what I want to do.’ It was the first time in my life when I really considered transitioning. But I got scared,” she tells me. “I really regret the fact that I didn’t know or realize I already had the love I needed, especially from my aunt and sister—just to seek support.”
Rather, she made a defiantly different choice. It was the moment of the so-called surge in Iraq. The news on TV was grim. “I don’t know who I am,” she recalls in the park. “Maybe the military will allow me to figure that out.” She looks out toward the river. “It was a naive thought, but it was very real to me in 2007.”
On the grass behind us, teenage girls are putting together a dance routine: “Five, six, seven, eight!” Not far away, upriver, are the piers where, for years, LGBTQ teens have congregated at the witching hour to vogue under the stars. If Manning had remained in Maryland and been a little braver, she now believes, her 20s could have been quite different.
Instead, she traveled as a new Army enlistee to Fort Leonard Wood, in Missouri; trained as an intelligence analyst at Fort Huachuca, in Arizona; and worked for about a year at Fort Drum, in New York, as an analyst with a top-secret clearance. In October 2009, she was shipped to a base outside Baghdad, where she became Specialist Manning: an anguished 22-year-old in a harsh environment, with access to some of the military’s darkest secrets.
The clock has barely struck midnight at Le Poisson Rouge when Manning’s first night at the ball seems to end. The music stops; fluorescent lights flicker on overhead. There will be a small after-after-party—a loose, laid-back affair—at Julius, a tavern in the Village that is sometimes called the oldest extant gay bar in New York. Strangio has peeled off—he has a family to return to—but Manning decides to continue: The world is new again, and she’s not ready to go home.
About a dozen people walk the half-mile to the tavern. It is 12:45 a.m. and quiet on the streets; sprinklers stutter softly over the Minetta Green. Manning has no I.D. yet, for arcane reasons—she lost her old one with her old life—but the doorman at Julius is expecting her. For weeks after coming to New York, she wandered all around the city, unrecognized. “It’s not like I’m living in fear or anything,” she tells me. “I’m so glad to be out and about and walking around.”
Julius’s interior creaks with landmark artifacts: black-and-white photos checkering the walls, posters commemorating the gay-rights Mattachine Society’s 1966 “sip-in” at the bar. Manning alights on a bench underneath an American flag whose stripes are replaced with the bars of the pride banner. Conversation foams around her while the jukebox plays. They are deep into drinks; people are sitting on laps. Manning falls into conversation with January Hunt, a writer, musician, and artist who is also a young trans woman. Manning is describing her trip into Brooklyn for a tech “meet-up” in a derelict building; it struck her, she explains, as “very New York.”
Manning publicly came out in a written statement, sent to and read aloud on the Today show, in which she asked to be called by female pronouns and expressed interest in hormone therapy. She had thought of making an announcement earlier, she says—she had taken her first outing in women’s dress in February 2010 and had told guards at the detention center where she was first imprisoned that she was a woman—but had been advised that it would complicate the trial. “The opportunity to do it on the Today show popped up, so it happened a little bit sooner and a little faster than I hoped it would,” she told me. Still, she says, she was taken aback by the response. “I was honestly a bit surprised by the outpouring of love and support that I got,” she says. If there was a backlash, too (and there was), she doesn’t seem to have registered it—a tellingly upbeat response from a woman who now sprinkles her tweets with hearts and rainbows.
Prison bureaucracy was another story. Almost immediately after coming to the ACLU in 2013, Strangio—a trans man himself—began work on Manning’s civil case, fighting for her to begin receiving hormone therapy. “Our goal was to get her the health care that she needed,” he explained. “Even when there are legal principles that are pretty unambiguously on our side, there’s so much cultural bias we’re confronting in the courts and in other systems.” Meanwhile, behind bars, Manning sought equilibrium in other ways. “The first thing I learned to do was avoid television,” she says. She took out subscriptions to “50 or 60” periodicals, she says—news and global-affairs publications, science magazines, technical journals, and, of course, fashion glossies. She describes it to me as “like having a printed version of the Internet.” And she read books: literary classics, fantasy series, contemporary histories. She liked biographies: Queen Isabella, Joan of Arc. She read Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, Wild, three times. Many of Manning’s favorites seemed to emphasize personal strength or bureaucratic disaffection. She read Catch-22, she says, more than once. “I was institutionalized to such a point where my expectations were limited to, I’m going to eat the next meal. I’m going to go to sleep. I’m going to be here the next day,” Manning says. Before commutation, this outlook had psychological costs; as recently as last October, she tried to kill herself for the second time. Then, in January 2017, the White House phoned the office of one of her lawyers.
In his statement announcing the commutation, President Obama emphasized that it was not a pardon for her crime. “Let’s be clear: Chelsea Manning has served a tough prison sentence,” he said in a press conference. “I feel very comfortable that justice has been served.”
On the day of Manning’s release, things happened quickly. She picked her first outfit for life as a woman: a black-and-white striped blouse, with matching sneakers. She stopped at a roadside pizza joint, got a pepperoni slice, and posted a photo of it to Instagram. (“Freest pizza ever!” she tells me.) She had the lawyers who picked her up driving her to the countryside. “I think I spent, like, five or six hours sitting outside.”
A day after leaving Fort Leavenworth, she posted a new photo (“OK, so here I am everyone!!”) with the coder-inspired hashtag #HelloWorld. She had on a trim black dress by one of her favorite designers, Gabriela Hearst. Her hair was crisply coiffed; she wore a vibrant lip. In a Guardian column, written while in prison, Manning had discussed her nervousness about moving through the world as a woman. Now that she’s no longer worried about being “found out” by the military, she says, the fear is gone. “It feels natural. It feels like it’s how it’s supposed to be, instead of this anxiety, this uncertainty, this ball of self-consciousness that comes with pretending to be male,” she says. “It didn’t feel right. I didn’t know what it was. I couldn’t describe it. Now that’s gone.”
Poitras, who met Manning for the first time after her release, says she was startled by the young woman’s focus. “There are people who have really put their lives on the line for something, and they come out on the other side of it. You can feel that with her,” Poitras tells me. “Now that she’s free, what is she going to do with her freedom?” She adds, “When I first met Ed Snowden in Hong Kong, he had the same sort of eerie power.”
Twice during our conversations, and in slightly different ways, I ask Manning what she regrets from the period when she was living as Specialist Bradley Manning. Her leaking of state secrets doesn’t appear on the list, although that decision remains the most publicly controversial of her life, earning her accusations of treason and reckless endangerment. “I’ve accepted responsibility for my own decisions and my own actions,” she says. When we speak, Reality Winner, the 25-year-old intelligence contractor, has recently been arrested on suspicion of leaking information about Russian hacking in the 2016 U.S. election, adding to a list of leakers who, like Snowden, have become household names. Manning tells me that she has nothing to say about Winner (“All I know is what I see in the media reports”) but speaks about what she refers to as “the larger issue.” “I think it’s important to remember that when somebody sees government wrongdoing—whether it’s illegal or immoral or unethical—there aren't the means available to do something about it,” she says. “Everyone keeps saying, You should have gone through the proper channels! But the proper channels don’t work.”
Manning describes trying to release information to the press before WikiLeaks. “In 2010, I was literally scrambling around D.C. trying to get The Washington Post to publish this stuff, and then I went to The New York Times.” Manning has said that a reporter at the Post with whom she spoke briefly over the phone wouldn’t commit to a story, which she took as a sign of uninterest. At the Times, she says, she left a message on the voice mail of the ombudsman, confusingly called the Public Editor. The editor and his assistant later said that they had no memory of such a message, but explained that they received hundreds a week. “I did this all on leave,” Manning says. “I had only twelve days.” The approaching “Snowmageddon” made it harder still. Manning traveled from public phone to public phone, to avoid a traceable line. “I ran out of time,” she says. Before returning to Iraq, she sent files to WikiLeaks.
Even so, Manning continues to take her struggle to find an outlet as proof of a systemic problem. “We need to have more ways to talk about what’s going on in government,” she says. I ask what those ways might look like. “I don’t know what’s right,” she says. “I have certain values. I live by those.”
When it comes to information freedom, those values remain controversial. Many lawmakers bridled at her abbreviated sentence; at the time of the commutation, Paul Ryan said, “Chelsea Manning’s treachery put American lives at risk and exposed some of our nation’s most sensitive secrets.” Others argue that her motives, like a public-interest journalist’s, were honorable—or that the actual damage of the leaks was small. Beyond some vocal LGBTQ advocacy (she was a star of the summer’s Pride March in New York, waving from a drop-top Nissan alongside Gavin Grimm), Manning herself has mostly stayed circumspect on issues of politics. Still, in a Guardian column from January 25, a few days following her commutation, she offered a soft criticism of President Obama’s tactical approach: “The one simple lesson to draw from President Obama’s legacy: Do not start off with a compromise. They won’t meet you in the middle.” President Trump, newly elected, lambasted Manning over Twitter: “Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!”
Manning has avoided a rejoinder to the president’s tweet. And to the extent that WikiLeaks of 2017 (which seems to have pursued specific electoral outcomes in France and America and is dogged by the troubled reputation of its leader, Julian Assange) has a different public reputation than the 2010 organization (which claimed more categorical anti-secrecy principles), she has avoided opinions there, too. “I’ve been in prison for seven years! I’ve been completely disconnected from all of that,” she tells me. Her plan is to live in New York until late summer, then move to suburban Maryland, not far from where she was before.
By then, she hopes to be acclimated to a new life. For the moment, certain habits of this decade strike her as weird. Our phone fixation, for example. “We’re sitting in the same room as each other but looking at our phones constantly,” she says. “Before I was in prison, I was one of the only people on social media. I was a novelty. Now everybody’s on social media all the time!” It’s too much. “I think that’s where a lot of this miscommunication, polarization, friction, and chaos is coming from.”
Thus, though she tweets and Instagrams, Manning has tried to focus on more in-the-moment pursuits. She still loves video games, though she has forsworn the violent ones. Soon after leaving prison, she began teaching herself the programming language Rust. (“It has a lot of features that weren’t available seven years ago,” she says.) She hopes to begin dating—“I’m not planning to be single!”—but intends to wait until her life settles, in Maryland.
She is also at work on a memoir. “I’m trying to tell the story as if it was happening now and you’re with me,” she explains. Hawkins, the documentarian, says he plans to stop shooting soon, as Manning’s personal narrative finds its own way in the world: “She’s too young for this film to attempt to be the definitive story of her life.”
Manning does not know what her career will be. While living as Bradley Manning, she expressed an interest in running for political office. I ask whether that’s still on her mind. “I’m certainly not going to say no, and I’m certainly not going to say yes,” she says. “My goal is to use these next six months to figure out where I want to go.
“I have these values that I can connect with: responsibility, compassion,” she goes on. “Those are really foundational for me. Do and say and be who you are because, no matter what happens, you are loved unconditionally.” It’s the lesson, she says, that she wishes she learned earlier. “Unconditional love,” she says. “It is OK to be who I am.”
In front of an apartment building in the East Seventies, near Central Park, Manning meets up with Strangio to pay a visit to a hero of New York’s LGBTQ past. It’s 90 degrees, clear, and sticky. Manning arrives late, looking addled and a little faint. She had a subway snafu, she explains, and then a long walk. Strangio takes her shoulders and gives them a shake. “Oh, my God—hi!” he says with get-ahold-of-yourself astringency. Inside, they board a tiny elevator that seems as old as the building.
“Everybody in!” Strangio says merrily as it begins groaning upward. “We’ll just get stuck in here a few days.”
“I’ve got a flashlight,” Manning deadpans.
At a time when drag queens were widely shunned, Jack Doroshow, better known as Flawless Sabrina, blazed a trail across Philadelphia and New York with her high-profile drag pageants, forcing the cities to acknowledge and accept their androgyne and transgender communities. Bobby Kennedy helped her book a venue. Andy Warhol helped secure funding for a film on the pageants, The Queen(1968), which went to Cannes. Flawless posed for Diane Arbus acted for John Waters and dated William S. Burroughs. Along the way, she was arrested several times and came to be known as a “mother” figure in the queer community. Now in her late 70s, she suffers from various age-related ailments. There are good days and bad days, but today is good.
The long wall of Flawless’s sitting room is mirrored, floor to ceiling. A desk near the window supports pineapple-esque lamps and on the far wall is a framed canvas that looks like—is assumed to be—a late-period Picasso. Scattered through the room are heads: mannequin heads, paper-mâché heads, other heads, one sporting a costume-ball mask and feather headpiece, another wearing a wig and sunglasses, a third stabbed at the scalp with hypodermic syringes.
Just then, Flawless enters the room. “Gorgeous!” she says, looking at Manning. “Girl, that’s what I’m talking about.”
She is sitting in a wheelchair pushed by Curtis Carman, an artist who is Flawless’s partner. She looks old, alert, and not unlike Picasso herself: bald, with a striped shirt and a big, knitted navy cardigan. Carman helps her climb into a throne-like chair behind the desk. “Now, how’s your family?” she asks Manning.
“They’re all right,” she says. “They’re laying low a little bit.” She hasn’t seen her mother yet, Manning explains. She lives in the care of her family and cannot travel.
“But you’ll do that,” Flawless says. It’s not a question. “You’re young, aren’t you?”
“Twenty-nine. I hope that’s young.”
“You bet.” Flawless allows herself a smile. “I mean, as I look at it, everybody’s pretty new.”
Flawless brings her palms together. “All I see is a very natural, very beautiful little girl,” she says. “The only jarring thing is that there’s so much power. This is somebody who has changed history.”
Manning thanks her and keeps talking—about her move to Maryland, and then about her writing. Flawless starts shaking her head. “I can’t get over how beautiful you are,” she says.
Through the next half-hour, they discuss the military, the Tonys, the past. Before Manning leaves, Flawless is keen to pass on some wisdom. “Think about your story,” she says.
“I’m not done yet!” Manning protests.
“No,” Flawless says slowly.
Strangio says they should let Flawless rest.
“It’s not easy to change the world,” Flawless chirps. She draws Strangio close. “I am so proud of you,” she says and gives him a tight hug.
Manning comes next. Flawless wraps her aged arms around her small frame. “Thank you so much,” she whispers, so softly that Manning may not hear. “Thank you so much.” When Manning stands, she moves briskly toward the door. Flawless’s eyes are wet with tears.
In this story:
Fashion Editor: Phyllis Posnick.
Hair: Jimmy Paul for Bumble and Bumble; Makeup: Alice Lane.
Tailor: Maria Del Greco for Christy Rilling Studio.
Set Design: Mary Howard

You can do searches by using wiki leaks as label also wiki queer

June 25, 2017

Manning with a New Life Recovering from Government Jailing

Ever since Chelsea Manning was dumped into a military solitary confinement cell for passing secret information to self-serving Assange of Wikileaks, adamfoxie*blogspot is been posting every time some news squeezed out about her. One did not have to get a degree in space science to know that when a teenager is put in charge of sensitive information to use and without proper safeguards for his state of mind and the information he guarded should not be thrown in solitary confinement without even the benefit of a lawyer. Something was wrong and it was my personal belief that those guarding him and the government in general, had as much if not more responsibility in this embarrassing fiasco for the military and the Bush Administration than the person being blamed totally for it.

 If nothing else will tell you what type of human being we had as President, the act of compassion and sincere truthfulness by him pardoning this woman should tell you. A man with fairness that could look at the case of this young transitioning man and see he was not and never had been a threat to this society. President Obama did the right thing and used his powers to pardon like is never been used before: Not to pardon a crooked President by the next President that took his job or money donors caught with their hands not in the cookie jar but with dump trucks emptying banks of their customer's money, which was then replaced again by the whole country.

He pardoned Manning. I have been curious to see how he looks now and here is a picture and a post from Buzzfeed in regards to all the damage Manning did X0 none.

In the seven years since WikiLeaks published the largest leak of classified documents in history, the federal government has said they caused enormous damage to national security.
But a secret, 107-page report, prepared by a Department of Defense task force and newly obtained by BuzzFeed News, tells a starkly different story: It says the disclosures were largely insignificant and did not cause any real harm to US interests.
Regarding the hundreds of thousands of Iraq-related military documents and State Department cables provided by the Army private Chelsea Manning, the report assessed “with high confidence that disclosure of the Iraq data set will have no direct personal impact on current and former U.S. leadership in Iraq.”
The heavily redacted report also determined that a different set of documents published the same year, relating to the US war in Afghanistan, would not result in “significant impact” to US operations. It did, however, have the potential to cause “serious damage” to “intelligence sources, informants, and the Afghan population,” and US and NATO intelligence collection efforts. The most significant impact of the leaks, the report concluded, would likely be on the lives of “cooperative Afghans, Iraqis, and other foreign interlocutors.”
The June 15, 2011, report, written a year after the leaked documents were published by Wikileaks and an international consortium of news organizations, was obtained by BuzzFeed News in response to an FOIA lawsuit filed in 2015. Classified SECRET/NOFORN, meaning it was not to be shared with foreign nationals, the document was selectively cited by government prosecutors during Manning’s court-martial. Defense lawyers were not allowed to read it. More than half the report was withheld by the government.
To prepare it, more than 20 federal government agencies, including the FBI, NSA, CIA, the Department of State, and the Department of Homeland Security, conducted a line-by-line review of more than 740,000 pages of classified documents “known or believed compromised” by WikiLeaks to assess the damage.
The report goes on to say that the documents the task force reviewed contained details about previously undisclosed civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan, which “could be used by the press or our adversaries to negatively impact support for current operations in the region.”
The task force’s review also found that a so-called, password-protected “insurance file,” which WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said contained additional classified US documents and which he threatened to publicly release if anything happened to him, likely did not contain any information the task force hadn’t already reviewed.
Manning was released from Fort Leavenworth in May after President Obama commuted her 35-year sentence. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said the arrest and prosecution of Assange, in connection with these and other documents, is now a “priority” for the Department of Justice.

January 20, 2017

Manning a Powerful Transgender Symbol for Resilience

For most Americans, Chelsea Manning has been a hero or villain based on how they view her decision to leak classified material. For transgender people, she has another dimension — serving as a potent symbol of their struggles for acceptance. 
With Tuesday's commutation of her prison sentence by President Barack Obama, she's now due for release in May, when she will re-enter a society bitterly divided over many aspects of transgender rights. 
Manning was arrested in 2010 and came out as transgender after being sentenced to 35 years in an all-male military prison. Under Army rules, she was barred from growing her hair long while incarcerated, and only after litigation by her legal team was she approved for hormone therapy. 
She spent long stints in solitary confinement, and twice tried to kill herself. 
 Chase Strangio, the American Civil Liberties Union attorney who filed the medical-care lawsuit, said Manning has viewed herself as a transgender-rights activist even in the isolation of her confinement at Fort Leavenworth. 
"She's always been a hero to me," said Strangio, a transgender man. "Her story really does reflect so much of the systemic discrimination that transgender people face — struggles growing up, suppression of her gender that prompted her to join the military ... and facing particularly egregious conditions in prison." 
"She's an incredibly thoughtful and devoted person," Strangio added. "She's felt a sense of responsibility to the transgender community and wanted to be someone who contributed to the fight for transgender justice." 
Jennifer Finney Boylan, a transgender author who teaches at Barnard College in New York, expressed hope that Manning would remain an activist and share her experiences. In an email, Boylan depicted Manning as "a woman who's been trapped both physically and metaphorically, finding herself smack in the middle of national disagreements about both the meaning of our war in Iraq as well as the ongoing national conversation about gender." 
"She is seen as a very public face for the complexity of gender, particularly the injustice facing anyone doing time in a facility for men who is surely, by the measure of her own heart, a woman," Boylan wrote. 
Dean Spade, a transgender law professor at Seattle University School of Law, hailed Manning as "an immensely important figure for the trans movement and for the broader LGBT movement." Manning faced conditions in prison that denied her gender, Spade said, and "the world has watched her go through this." 
A cautionary note was sounded by Dana Beyer, executive director of Gender Rights Maryland, who said there was no consensus about Manning among transgender Americans. 
"The community is divided on her actions, and parading her around as a hero will not only negatively impact her," and exacerbate the split among transgender people, Beyer wrote in an email. "Manning as the face of the trans community would be very dangerous." 
Manning was convicted of leaking many thousands of classified government and military documents to WikiLeaks while serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq. There was testimony at her trial about her erratic behavior and emotional stress during her Army service. 
Among those denouncing the commutation of her sentence was Jerry Boykin, a retired Army general who is now executive vice president of the conservative Family Research Council. 
"President Obama chose political correctness over our national security," Boykin said in a statement that referred to Manning with male pronouns and decried the legal efforts to compel the Army to pay for gender-transition procedures. 
The Pentagon recently adopted a policy of allowing transgender people to serve openly in the military. Some conservatives are suggesting a reversal of the policy after President-elect Donald Trump takes office, although Trump's pick for defense secretary, James Mattis, told the Senate Armed Services Committee he has no such plans. 
However, many transgender activists fear that Trump's administration will abandon the Obama administration's efforts to enable transgender students to use the bathrooms of their choice at public schools. And in Texas, Republican legislators are pushing a bill that would limit transgender people's bathroom access. 
Among the many problems faced by transgender Americans, their treatment in the criminal justice system is of particular concern to activists. Many juvenile detention centers are ill-equipped to handle transgender teens, and corrections officials in many jurisdictions have sought to avoid paying for sex-reassignment surgeries for adult inmates. 
After Manning's release, the Army will be off the hook for the costs of any further gender-transition medical care that she receives. However, Chase Strangio, the ACLU attorney, said the matter of cost was not paramount. "She can finally navigate her medical care on her own terms," he said. 
Shannon Minter, a transgender man who serves as legal director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said activists rallied behind Manning partly because her experience epitomized many of their community's problems. 
Her case "has shed a light on the serious abuses that transgender people — and in particular, transgender women — suffer daily in our nation's prisons and jails," Minter said. “While Chelsea's experience is extraordinary in many respects, the abuses she has experienced as a result of being transgender are commonplace and deserve far more attention."

September 24, 2016

Manning Attempted Suicide:The Solution is Solitary Confinement

In this the US Army and The Russian, Iran, Egyptians Armies are the same: Try to kill your self because of your conditions and situation and they will make it worse. They are saying, make sure next time you succeed even though you would have if not for us. You see we want you alive and suffering and if you try to make it less suffering we will find a way to make it worse than what it was.

What they have done to this very young private, between the US Army and Wikileaks Assange is inhumane and simply wrong particularly coming from an institution that knows better. As for Assange we already know he is a sociopath but he has even offered to surrender if the US let this mentally defective man out. May be Assange doesn’t mean it but if be he does, we will never find out. Assange 1000 times more valuable than Manning would be a trophy for the US but this will not become a fact.

Coming back to the abuse this young private has gone through in our army jail is inexcusable. If anyone had any doubts about how he is been treated this last decision to put someone in permanent solitary, someone who is mentally not able to cope goes beyond any crime he has done. It would have been better to give him the death penalty than to make someone suffer a daily living in this condition.

Chelsea Manning should be in treatment by capable psychiatrists. Solitary is the last thing he needs. A shame! That is the reason when this government accuses others of inhuman treatment of political prisoners as well as criminal prisoners they point to cases like this in which the US is a hypocrite,    no better than the worse with the exception he is not being water boarded or beaten as far as we know and we don’t know because people are not aloud to visit him. Alright don’t let him out but get him the psychiatric help he needs. If he was in a civilian jail his lawyers would have already brought the case to an appeals court but being in a military jail you have no such luxury.

The Washington Post reports the following:

Prison officials have decided U.S. Army Private Chelsea Manning should spend at least 7 days in solitary confinement after she attempted to take her own life earlier this year in the midst of serving a 35-year sentence for sharing classified materials with the website WikiLeaks, her attorney said Friday.
Members of an administrative disciplinary board in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas handed the soldier a 14-day stint in solitary with seven days suspended after finding Manning guilty of two counts during a hearing Thursday held in response to her recent suicide attempt, according to a statement circulated by her lawyer, Chase Strangio of the American Civil Liberties Union.
“I am feeling hurt. I am feeling lonely. I am embarrassed by the decision. I don’t know how to explain it,” the soldier said in the statement.
Manning, 28, was found unresponsive inside her prison cell on the morning of July 5 and taken to a nearby hospital before being returned to the disciplinary barracks at Fort Leavenworth. She later learned that she was being investigated over the incident and faced indefinite solitary confinement as a result of her actions.
The three-member disciplinary board found the soldier guilty Thursday on charges of “conduct which threatens” and “prohibited property.” She was acquitted of a third charge related to the prison’s decision to deploy a specialized team to her cell upon learning of her suicide attempt.

July 7, 2016

Wiki-Leaker Chelsea Manning Attempts Suicide at Ft.Leavenworth (Serving 35 Yrs)


Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning hospitalized after suspected suicide attempt, reports say
Chelsea Manning (Credit: AP/U.S. Army)
Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning was rushed to the hospital Tuesday after a suspected suicide attempt, according to several reports.

CNN reporter Shimon Prokupecz tweeted the news on Tuesday morning.
U.S. Army spokesperson Patrick Seiber confirmed to CNN that Manning was hospitalized “during the early hours of July 5th.” An unnamed U.S. official said that this was because of a suspected suicide attempt.

American Civil Liberties Union attorney Chase Strangio said Manning has returned from the hospital, but reports of her alleged suicide attempt are unconfirmed. 
TMZ reported that Manning may have attempted to hang herself, according to a source. Prison officials said she has since been released from the hospital and is being monitored.

Manning is being held at the Fort Leavenworth Disciplinary Barracks in Kansas.

Salon reached out to the Fort Leavenworth office. It did not comment on the case, and instead said to contact the U.S. Army Office of the Chief of Public Affairs. This office did not immediately return a request for comment.

A Fort Leavenworth spokesperson told Gawker via email, “Medical treatment of inmates at the United States Disciplinary Barracks is protected under the Health Information Protection Privacy Act (HIPPA). No information regarding their individual treatment can be released without their consent.”

Manning is serving 35 years in prison for leaking more than 700,000 classified documents to whistleblowing journalism organization WikiLeaks.

Among the leaked materials were videos that show U.S. pilots massacring more than 100 civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The video of a July 12, 2007 attack in Baghdad shows pilots in two U.S. helicopters killing more than a dozen people, including two Iraqi war correspondents working for Reuters and two children. When this video was released, it generated great controversy in the media.

In another attack, on May 4, 2009 in Granai, Afghanistan, the pilot of a U.S. plane massacred scores of civilians. The Afghan government said 140 civilians were killed in this incident.

This is so sad to see.  A young man that has completely fallen apart at the governments hand and no one has lifted a finger to help. He should be getting psychological help and a pardon would not be out of order particularly when you match him up to others that have received pardons or are in the list right now. You have spy’s and people in government who have cheated the American people. Cheated the governemnt. This was a young man totally confused about his sexuality, who he was and his place in the government. Before he burnt He served with distinction but he came apart. He discovered in those files this was a corrupted government saying one thing to its friends and its people and doing the opposite. The same as other nations.

This young man was someone who joined to served a nation he believed in. He believed what he was told and served honorably and up to the point of being put in sensitive positions for his rank.

When he discovered things were not the way they should have been and the advice of a man like  Assange (He still free, he was smart and knew what he was doing and how to stay out of the hands of those that wanted  him) if anybody should be in jail it should be him for using this young man. He thought he was doing the right thing and that the American people would be so shocked when they learn all these things from the military breaking the law on water boarding to no weapons in Iraq stop looking for them! etc. They would be so incensed it would be the politicians going to jail not him. Like I said he was confused because that is not the way things work either in this country or the world. Politicians go to jail only when they are stupid or when they can no longer contribute in what they are doing.  

Here he is a young man wasting away and justice is not being done even though we are better off from what we learned from him. More changes should have taken place but his contribution in my opinion was a good one. From time to time someone needs to look inside and check for cancers. The government cannot do it because it is not going to operate and cut rotten pieces within it self. The most that can happen is band aids and pills that have side effect but do not work in cleaning any malady. I do not expect truth or honesty from the government which is the same reason I don’t care about Clinton’s email in a 100% political motivated expensive investigation that was put in place to get Hillary Clinton alone. From a type of investigation like that I don’t care about anything they find and if what they found is what has been published I think those in the committee hearings, Those  Congressmen should repay the government the $56-100 million dollars this investigation has cost  so far. We will never know exactly the cost because this politicians are not gong to tell us.

Today Senator Ryan the speaker of the house is saying they should not share intelligence with Mrs. Clinton as they move closer to the elections because she was careless. I guess not being indicted is not enough. That most also be a crime for her but he said nothing about denying it to a man like Trump that will use anything he knows to advance his cause. You know what Trump’s cause is because he says it at least once a week. Himself! How many times has Trump lied. He won t even show his tax return and if you are a fair individual then you he hasn’t paid any or paid so little it amounts to nothing. Why else? But give him sensitive information and not to Hillary. I hear no outcry and even the media has not picked it up even though I learnt it from watching it at NBC news.  

In this screw up government, Chelsea Manning has paid enough. Already 10 years or so locked up besides a suicidal depression causing havoc in that fried brain of hers. Where is the Christian understanding and love of all these bible thumpers? I love my country but do not trust the system of government as it is today. I am adult enough to also understand there is nothing else on the horizon to replace with and I don’t know how it could be fix since every part of the government wants to stay in power wether is the Supreme Court or the Executive and Congress, particularly congress. A system in which we allow justices and Congressmen to be in power indefinitely cannot bring change and that would be the first thing that should be done away with. We had the right idea with term limits but then we stopped without finishing the job.

Only the American people could change the government but this is a divided country in which usually we get divided government and crazies like Trump running and winning a nomination. Presidents like Nixon and  Bush. May be not evil Presidents but men that would destroy the nation following what advisors were telling them to do. “Mr. President we believe they have weapons of mass destruction. How do you know? We are guessing but is a good educated guess. If its a good guess and also educated then it most be the truth because I believe in you and education”). That is just a parody but you play it in your mind how it went with Bush and it’s advisers any way you wish. We know the results so be fair.

Adam Gonzalez, Publisher and American

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