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View Diary: Bradley Manning's Transgender Defense (46 comments)

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  •  lemme add though (2+ / 0-)
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    4kedtongue, kyril

    While I understand the law isn't politics, the law will have political repercussions, and this line of defense -- depicting him as a troubled young man, as opposed to a brave man of conscience -- only reinforces the criticism of him.

    That is, the line of defense discomforts me not so much because of what it may imply (or what may be inferred) about sexual minorities but because it depicts his actions as something that grew out of distress -- and him as someone who wasn't thinking clearly when, in fact, assuming he did what is alleged, he was thinking much more clearly than anyone around him.

    •  The Law DOES have political repurcussions. (3+ / 0-)
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      david mizner, Richard Lyon, burlydee

      And being a troubled young man and a brave man of conscience are not mutually exclusive.  Speaking as someone who was a troubled young man about a million years ago (for what I'll assume are similar sexual orientation reasons as Manning), I can say that the very things that troubled me also DEEPLY informed me and brought my 'courage' to bear.

      Regardless of the outcome, many will have conflicting opinions of Manning and what motivated him.  I agree that he was thinking more clearly than anyone around him about what was going on AROUND him.  As a matter of fact, I believe he probably examined his life in much greater depth than many of his so-called 'straight contemporaries serving with him.  Who's to say that his alleged actions were not in some part inspired by that distress?  Maybe there were/are more Mannings out there, but what sets him apart is how he acted on what was going on around him, and, quite possibly, what was happening within him -- his struggle (and I have to assume that keeping one's sexual orientation a secret in order to serve in the military IS a struggle since keeping one's sexual orientation a secret without the added layer of being booted out of the military is distressing) -- had something to do with what he is alleged to have done.

      At the end of the day, however, if I were his attorney, I would set aside the broader political implications of whatever defense I was planning to mount.  My only concern would be to defend my client to the best of my ability and use whatever tools were at my disposal to do so.

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