“We’re getting all this information from all these different sources and it’s just death,” said Chelsea Manning, “adding it’s utter “destruction, mayhem.”
Filtering it all through facts, statistics, reports, dates, times and locations made her stop and reflect. Indeed, no longer was it a matter of “national security” but of principle and truth and the “democratic” rule of law.
Ms.Manning wanted to spark a debate, which is necessary for liberty to survive in a republic that too often seems hell bent on going to war. Many in America see her truly as not just a whistleblower, but a living American hero of freedom.
Speaking on recent attacks on Republican law makers, Ms. Manning feels sad and don’t mean any harm for those Congress people injured and their families. She comments that Sen. Rand Paul was wrong to describe the recent shooting at the Alexandria, Va., baseball field a “killing field.”
Chelsea Manning said in her first interview that “I stopped seeing just statistics and information, and started seeing people,” I again swapped stories with a veteran of the Vietnam Conflict, a war which made causes worth dying for and killing extremely vague and ambiguous.
She relayed the nam vet was commanding a convoy of supplies with strict orders not to stop, one of the US Army trucks hit and ran over an elderly Vietnamese woman on a bicycle. Severely hurt and laying in the middle of the road, he was at odds whether to stop and seek medical help and risk a Vietcong attack or leave her behind and continue the mission.
Another soldier on the convoy finally walked up, put a gun to her head, pulled the trigger, and instantly killed her. No matter the necessity or justification of war, in the end there will always be crimes was the takeaway lesson for Manning.
This is what Chelsea Manning says she has learned. A transgendered US Army soldier, who was convicted by a military tribunal under the Espionage and Computer Fraud and Abuse Acts and sentenced to 35 years, realized the computerized statistics and automated information were actually people, even women and children. She also realized a good leader tries to lead not by force but by example.