Election 2020

Manning for Senate?

(AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

Talk about a sign of the times:

Chelsea Manning, the former US army soldier jailed for giving sensitive documents to WikiLeaks, has filed documents to run for the US Senate, the Washington Post reported. Ms Manning, a former intelligence expert previously known as Bradley Manning, was released from military prison in 2017 after Barack Obama waived her sentence.

The 30-year-old would be taking on the incumbent Ben Cardin, a 74-year-old Democrat who has held the seat for more than a decade. Miss Manning was arrested in May 2010, while serving with the US army in Iraq, after she confessed to a computer hacker, Adrian Lamo, that she was the source of Wikileaks’ documents.

Hard to know where to start unpacking this, but let’s begin with the central question: if Bradley Manning were suddenly to start speaking Corsican French, don the Little Corporal’s uniform, declare himself emperor of France, and demand to be called “Napoleon,” would we indulge him?

Next question: should a man convicted of espionage and sentenced to 35 years in prison for his crimes — and pardoned whose sentence was commuted by Barack Obama — be elected as a woman to the United States Senate? The Left has successfully made Manning out to be a “whistleblower,” but let’s look at the former Sgt. Manning’s rap sheet:

Manning, 25, was acquitted last month of the most serious charge he faced — aiding the enemy — but was convicted of multiple other counts, including violations of the Espionage Act, for copying and disseminating classified military field reports, State Department cables, and assessments of detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

“The message won’t be lost for everyone in the military,” said Steven Bucci, director of the Douglas and Sarah Allison Center for Foreign Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation. “When you sign a security clearance and swear oaths, you actually have to abide by that. It is not optional.”

That message was negated by Obama’s commutation, Manning’s sex-change operation, and the current vogue for transgenders. On the Left, Manning is viewed as a hero for all these reasons, treason having become the highest form of patriotism for “progressives.”

Three days after making her intention known to federal election officials, Manning tweeted “yup, we’re running for senate” with an attached campaign video indicating her intention to run in the 2018 Maryland Democratic primary. She sent a subsequent tweet seeking donations to her campaign.

The 71-second video weaves together images of white supremacists holding tiki torches in Charlottesville, Virginia, as well as protesters clashing with police elsewhere. “We live in trying times . times of fear . of suppression . of hate,” Manning said. The montage shifts to the U.S. Capitol and President Donald Trump sitting with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, both Democrats.

“We don’t need more or better leaders,” Manning continued. “We need someone willing to fight. We need to stop asking them to give us our rights. They won’t support us. They won’t compromise.” The video also shows Manning holding a rose and ends with her saying, “You’re damn right we got this.”

We’ll see.