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Tue Jul 30, 2013, 01:46 PM

Have Gay Rights Groups Abandoned Bradley Manning?

Today's article from the UK Guardian discusses why mainstream LGBT rights groups like Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD have stayed quiet about Manning - charging that the silence of these groups has been deafening.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/jul/30/bradley-manning-gay-rights-groups-support

One of the interesting factors is that two of the largest and most well funded LGBT rights groups in the US have stayed quiet about Manning, his reprehensible treatment in custody and his trial. Why has Manning, whose revelations about the US Army's actions epitomize social justice in action, gotten the cold shoulder from the Human Rights Campaign and GLAAD (formerly known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation)? The silence of these groups has been deafening.

First, Manning is the opposite of everything that these groups seek to portray as the image of "gay Americans". I use those quotes because the majority of LGBT Americans don't conform to these upwardly mobile, white, polished, virile male stereotypes. Manning doesn't look like CNN anchor Anderson Cooper. With his slight frame, lower-class background, questioning of his gender identity, inability to hold down a typical job, general dorkiness and dysfunctional family life, Manning does not fit the poster boy image that GLAAD or the HRC would hold up and promote. It's bizarre because Manning is actually what many, if not most, LGBT people have been at one point or another an outsider, a loner, a person who does not fit in or conform.

Second, organizations like the HRC, which had net assets of over $32.7m at the end of last year and claims more than a millions members and supporters, happens to have the financial backing of major military industrial corporations, including Lockheed Martin, which is sponsoring the HRC's upcoming national gala in Washington DC and Booz Allen Hamilton, a corporate partner for the national event, as well as Northrop Grumman a sponsor of their Los Angeles gala.

US government contracts account for at least 85% of Lockheed Martin's work, Northrop Grumman is intricately tied to our military and Booz Allen Hamilton is wrapped up in Washington's lobbying morass kicking into high gear now that legislators are finally considering limits on the NSA's surveillance capabilities.

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Reply Have Gay Rights Groups Abandoned Bradley Manning? (Original post)
Divernan Jul 2013 OP
Divernan Jul 2013 #1
Donald Ian Rankin Jul 2013 #2
Smarmie Doofus Jul 2013 #10
Waiting For Everyman Jul 2013 #3
Divernan Jul 2013 #11
frazzled Jul 2013 #4
Divernan Jul 2013 #6
Smarmie Doofus Jul 2013 #13
frazzled Jul 2013 #14
Smarmie Doofus Jul 2013 #16
Capt. Obvious Jul 2013 #5
Smarmie Doofus Jul 2013 #7
Divernan Jul 2013 #9
Capt. Obvious Jul 2013 #12
Divernan Jul 2013 #15
msanthrope Jul 2013 #8

Response to Divernan (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 01:53 PM

1. More from the OP link - interesting ties between MIC, HRC & GLAAD

There was no quid pro quo, however, the HRC and GLAAD know exactly where their bread is buttered. The Human Rights Campaign spent millions of dollars and countless volunteer hours to lobby for the repeal of Don't ask, don't tell, ensuring that patriotic and law-abiding gays and lesbians can continue to serve in the US military and fight its wars in far-flung places.

Each of these defense organizations depends on federal money; therefore, the more able-bodied young men and women who sign up for the US military, the better. The more the American war-making machine expands, even if shrouded in utter secrecy, the better. GLAAD has had Goldman Sachs (that bastion of awesomeness) as a patron of its media awards in the past and Verizon (remember those agreements with the NSA?) as a supporter while doling out awards to men like Anderson Cooper, who came out at the height of his career after following in the footsteps of other journalists, and Bill Clinton, the man responsible for DADT and the Defense of Marriage Act.

Self-censorship is a beautiful thing. It can't be proven. It occurs as a matter of course and is a great example of the banal, duplicitous intertwined relationships between the military industrial complex, the US government and corporate nonprofits. Why would the Human Rights Campaign risk offending the sensibilities of Lockheed Martin, Booz Allen Hamilton and Northrop Grumman? Because these and other defense companies, drowning in profit, might turn off the "diversity" spigot that sustains the Human Rights Campaign.

Why wouldn't GLAAD support a frail, maladjusted young queer man whose efforts exposed US military malfeasance? It's much easier and requires no courage whatsoever to honor those who are privileged and already at the very top of society. Abandoned by these mainstream rights organizations, who will speak up in defense of Manning?

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:03 PM

2. Have the ADL abandoned Bernie Madoff?

Manning's sexual orientation is irrelevant.

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Response to Donald Ian Rankin (Reply #2)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:15 PM

10. Not to his c/o. nt

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:03 PM

3. That's a very good question.

And those are some very interesting affiliations. I had no clue of that, but it is disturbing.

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Response to Waiting For Everyman (Reply #3)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:16 PM

11. The affiliations were what jumped out at me from this article.

NT

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:04 PM

4. Being gay had nothing to do with the case, so why should they step in?

This was an espionage (military) trial: what difference does it make if he was gay, straight, white, black, Hispanic, Catholic, Jewish, or whatever?

These groups were correct to stay out of it. Espionage is not within their purview, and his gayness is irrelevant. These groups are not required to weigh in or support anyone just because they are gay.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:10 PM

6. Interesting response to your question, from a comment to the OP link.

ub313

30 July 2013 2:21pm
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5

One reason gay rights groups perhaps ought to get involved with Manning's case is in relation to his possible ill treatment in prison as a homosexual or gender non-conformist. Though they should support any such individuals in prison, the fact that Manning is a political prisoner and completely innocent of any wrongdoing does render any persecution all the more heinous. Probably best to await the verdict first, though.

Generally agree with other posters that Manning's sexuality is completely irrelevant. It could be argued, though, that liberation movements should express a basic solidarity with each other, and that those interested in sexual liberation should support Manning, whatever his sexuality, against the state (though perhaps as individuals, not organisations with specific remits). But this article does a good job of demonstrating that HRC and GLAAD are not liberation movements but smug liberal identity movements. That's why they've been vociferously campaigning for homosexual couples to be allowed to get down on their knees for the state to pat them on the head just like heterosexuals, and for homosexuals to be allowed to openly become unthinking, repressed, state drones programmed for killing.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:19 PM

13. 1. There was no espionage.

2. Being gay appears to have been very much at the heart of his mistreatment and harassment in the army and his abuse pretrial

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Response to Smarmie Doofus (Reply #13)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:22 PM

14. Wow, is that a confused statement.

He has just been convicted on multiple charges of espionage, so that is decided now.
There has been no proof that he was mistreated or harassed because of gayness. None. Only desperate posts on message boards. If he was harassed and abused, he can sue the military. He has not done so.

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Response to frazzled (Reply #4)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:53 PM

16. 1. The dictionary def. of espionage is:

"The act or process of learning secret information through clandestine means." (wiki) I'm not referencing the legal technicalities of the Espionage Act ( and neither were you when you used the word).

2. His superior officer, a prosecution witness at the trial , testified under oath that she called him "faggoty" to his face.

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:05 PM

5. Oh FFS this again?

Has the Black community abandoned O.J.?

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:12 PM

7. Good god..... what an analogy. n/t

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #5)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:15 PM

9. The author of the piece further comments:

Christopher Carbone drprl

30 July 2013 1:51pm
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It's amazing how many comments are the exact same "he's not being prosecuted for being gay"....um, did you actually read my piece? Implicit in my argument is that these organizations have ethical responsibilities that go beyond their gay rights mandate. That's all.

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Response to Divernan (Reply #9)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:17 PM

12. Well that changes everything.

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Response to Capt. Obvious (Reply #12)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:41 PM

15. Lose the cynicism & discuss the differences between Anderson Cooper & Bradley Manning

Apparently much is made of the fact that Anderson Cooper came out as gay, because he is physically attractive and highly successful. He's the poster boy. I think Bradley Manning is worthy of support for the bravery of his actions, and for what he's endured while in custody for years. DADT may be officially dead, but the likelihood of his being mistreated by his jailers because of their own homophobia is quite real.

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Response to Divernan (Original post)

Tue Jul 30, 2013, 02:15 PM

8. Wrong question--the question you should ask is why SLDN didn't touch this. nt

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