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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Bradley Manning's extenuating circumstances

The NY Post this morning reported that Pfc Bradley Manning's defense lawyers have pleaded with the court for leniency on the grounds that Manning is gay: 

A defense psychiatrist, Navy Reserve Capt. David Moulton, testified that Manning has "gender dysphoria," or the desire to be the opposite sex. Tuesday, the court-martial hearing heard how Manning, who is gay, indicated his torment in April 2010 when he sent an e-mail to Master Sgt. Paul Adkins. It bore the subject line that read “My Problem.” Attached to it was the photo Manning took of himself in a blond wig.

Yesterday, Capt. Michael Worsley, who treated Manning during his deployment in Iraq, described how Manning’s job stress was compounded by being in a “hyper-masculine environment” of a combat zone. “Being in the military and having a gender-identity issue does not exactly go hand in hand,” Worsley said.

IF Manning's homosexuality, as his defense lawyers argue, contributed to the state of mind which caused him to betray his country, and IF the court accepts this as a legitimate reason for leniency, then it is also an argument against allowing gays in the military. 

I've always supported gays in the military, and never saw their sexuality as reason enough to exclude them. 

But you can't have it both ways. If Manning's homosexuality contributed directly to his treasonous frame of mind, then maybe it's time to reconsider. 

(My feeling: it's not an excuse, gays should remain in the military, and Manning should receive a harsh sentence. But if similar cases pile up -- which I doubt will happen -- then it is time to reconsider.)


Glen Filthie said...

In the beginning I kept my mouth shut about gays when they started coming out of the closet. Like anyone else, I suppose, I felt that what went on in their bedrooms was none of my business, and I wanted them to get a fair shake.

But then they wanted into the classrooms. Up here in Canada they want to push gay sex ed on elementary schoolers. Then they wanted into the washroom - gender benders want to be able to pick and choose which restroom they use. Then they went after the church and elected themselves the censors of what people could and couldn't say. (I am a Canadian, the queers up here are a little ahead of yourse down there). When the so-called hate laws came out - which were really about censorship - I swore myself against them forever. My tolerance for those swine ends at their sexuality. After that - to hell with them.

I have seen too many cases like this John. Maybe not this severe, but quirks and eccentricities of behaviour exhibited by gays that are self destructive or harmful to those around them. I no longer think homosexuality is harmless and in many cases it is a good indicator of mental illness.

I know that won't sit well with you or your readership - but I know where these assholes are going - and they will try and take us with them.

I am not drinking the gay koolaid and I refuse to live under the rainbow.

John Craig said...

Glen --
I'm with you on gay sex ed in elementary school, picking which washroom you use, and as a big supporter of the First Amendment, am against all hate speech laws.

I don't think homosexuality is a mental illness, but I do think it comes with a whole host of characteristics -- other than sexuality -- which are not normal for men, i.e., there are a lot of gay men who basically think like women.

But I have to support gays in the military because I"m for equal rights. I just hate the kind of hypocrisy which is shown by Manning's legal team. I'm sure if they were representing Manning on other matters, they'd be agitating for gays in the military; yet on this, they're pleading for mercy on the grounds, essentially, that the military is not a good place for gays.

Glen Filthie said...

I am not saying homosexuality IS a mental illness, John - but it is a damn good indicator.

I am conflicted about the military in that we are essentially taking people who are professional whiners and victims - and forcing them into roles that are hazardous and stressful. Those roles demand clock-like cohesion and team work...and not a 4 gendered group of opportunists pushing a political and sexual agenda.

The safety of our service people trumps the politically correct requirements of diversity in my opinion...but what do I know?

Anonymous said...

This is a ridiculous excuse. I am aquatinted with many LGBT people and they'd never do anything like this. Kind of reminds me of Gary McKinnon being acquitted (he hacked into US government computers) just because he had Aspergers. Being gay should not be an excuse to break the law; it's not as if your sexuality impinges on your ability to understand that releasing classified documents is illegal.

John Craig said...

Glen --
I agree with you in principle. When I say I support gays in the military, I'm not supporting a huge gay agenda, only the opportunity for gays to prove that they're good soldiers like everyone else.

And BTW, I don't think you have to worry about what you said in the previous post not sitting well with me or my readers; I'm sure I lost whatever liberal readers I might have had a long time ago.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I agree with you completely in principle, I'd just point out that Manning's lawyers weren't using it as an excuse so much as citing it as a mitigating factor. (I don't think it should be considered either.)

bluffcreek1967 said...

I think Glen Filthie is representative of many people who at first didn't complain much when gays came 'out of the closet.' They wanted to be fair-minded about the whole thing.

But as gays became more and more 'in your face' and militant, a lot of people just got fed up with it and began to resent the entire movement. I think it's hard to deny that they have gotten out of control, openly pushing their agenda in everyone's face and mocking anyone who upholds traditional gender-sexual roles.

Granted, not every gay person is militant or outspoken. But the ones representative of the movement sure are!

On a personal level, I don't hate homosexuals as people, but I find their sexual proclivities and 'lifestyle' utterly repugnant. I grew up in Hollywood because my father was in the movie industry, so I've seen many gays in my life.

With very few exceptions, the ones I've encountered were somewhat odd and eccentric in their personalities. Many seemed deeply troubled. The older they get, the creepier they become and the more bold they become in trying to seduce younger men. I've been 'hit on' several times as a young man working for my father's business. It didn't take long before I was able to spot one (my 'gaydar') easily and my facial expression and demeanor made it obvious that I had no such interests.

Personally, I'm a big supporter of society shaming gays back into the closet, although I would not endorse violence against them. I also think that the gay movement is just one of many groups and 'agendas' that will prove to doom us.

John Craig said...

Ambrose --
I think it was The Onion which first wrote an "article" written by a guy who said he had supported gay rights up until the time he saw a gay pride parade. After witnessing guys with feather boas and all the gyrating on floats and Dykes on Bikes, he lost all his sympathy for the movement.

Anyway, I know exactly how you feel. But I still feel sympathy for them. The normal, healthy reaction of a heterosexual male to a gay guy is repulsion; that's near universal, and, when you think about it, you have to feel a little sorry for the people who inspire that feeling.

And look at it this way. Gays don't form gangs, they don't go on welfare (for the most part) and take our tax dollars, they don't try to mug us, they don't have a high murder rate, and they don't reproduce like cockroaches, and they don't ruin neighborhoods. All they want is the same thing everyone else has. To me, it's the difference between civil rights and affirmative action (which is basically civil rights turned on its head). They're not asking for affirmative action, merely for civil rights. I say, let them have them.

Anonymous said...

In the Good Ol' Days(tm), when men ran the military and intelligence services, homosexuals were almost categorically denied security clearances -- not for being easy blackmail targets; but because their unnatural behavior (and inability to suppress it) induced a deep self-loathing. And, the reasoning went, if a man hates himself, how can he love his country enough to be trusted with its secrets? Not to say "they're all like that", though Manning obviously fit the profile, but if certain behavior points to a character flaw that could cost lives, or a shitload of money to redesign crypto equipment e.g., then why take a chance? Just to be "fair"? There are a million other jobs an under-qualified (or suspect) person can do in this country. And yes, this same principal ("find another job you're good at") should keep women from serving in the military, except perhaps baking cookies on KP (not being overly hyperbolic here, either).

John Craig said...

Anon --
Everything you say sounds reasonable, but I'm of two minds about some of it. As far as the self-hating, if homosexuality has come out of the closet the way it has, will it still spark the same amount of self-hating?

Also, if you look at the list of traitors over the years, how many of them were actually gay? Edward Snowden dated a stripper, Aldrich Ames was straight (and did it for the money), ditto for John Walker. And Manning seems, especially in retrospect, to have been a misfit and security risk from the beginning.

I've always had the impression that the British Secret Service was a well run place (maybe this impression derives partly from a certain fictional character), but MI5's most famous traitors were the Cambridge Five: Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Donald Maclean, Anthony Blunt, and possibly John Cairncross. They had a reputation as a bunch of homos, but I just looked them up and it appears that Philby and Maclean were straight (and sloppy about their affairs), while Blunt and Burgess were gay. (Not sure about Cairncross.) Their motivation seems to have been ideological.

Also, I never got the impression that most of the defectors from the Soviet Union to the West -- and they were technically traitors to Mother Russia -- were a bunch of homosexuals.

Anyway, my point is, it's easy to find examples from the past of traitors of both orientations, and what with gay liberation, gays will be less subject to blackmail than they might have been in the past. Plus there are all sorts of motivations for being a traitor, including both money and ideology.

Anonymous said...

I don't count Snowden as a traitor. My guess for why most (or overwhelming majority) traitors have been staight, is because the overwhelming majority of people are straight. Also, excluding homos from the craft would have reduced their candidacy to steal anything. Like you, my general impression has always been that Britain's spy services were loaded with homos; perhaps movies caused that. Another impression I've had, is that money is not really a motivator, at least when the East poached Western spies. The reported payments were laughably small, to my recollection. It seemed that the payments were mostly customary, to make it feel like an even exchange, and not a one-sided giveaway; kind of like a girl who won't lay you without dinner first. When I got my clearance, I asked myself, "Everyone has a price; what would mine be?" and quickly concluded that it was so stupidly high, for the most mundane info, that no one would ever make a deal with me.
I think the self-hating part is not due to closeting (which should really invoke hatred of everyone who makes the closet necessary), rather from within: from doing things their bodies are just not equipped for; from not fitting into the simple biological equation, "male + female = newer males and females, ad infinitum". Those are serious existential issues to deal with. Some of that may be assuaged by adopting, or turkey-bastering, a kid, though it costs the child its own normalcy. Or another way of dealing with it, is to go balls-out in their lifestyle, like everyday is a pride parade.
I'm pretty sure most of the East-to-West defectors were just getting the hell out of an oppressive regime, and were lucky enough to have something valuable to trade.

John Craig said...

Anon --
You make a lot of good points again (I"m assuming you're the same commenter as above). True, Snowden is in a somewhat gray area. But if you were going to classify him as a traitor, he would go into the ideological camp.

Yes, Ames' and Walker's payments were pitifully small (on the order of 30,000 per vital bit of info) considering the damage they did (Ames personally was responsible for at least 12 American agents being assassinated, as I recall). But even if the payments were paltry, that was their motivation. Neither Walker nor Ames was ideologically motivated, both were simply sociopaths who would do anything for money.

You're certainly right that fewer homo traitors in the past was at least partly a function of fewer homos in the spy agencies in the past, at least in this country.

And I agree that most defectors from the Soviet bloc ere simply fleeing an oppressive regime; and the spies who defected do go into a different category than the mere refugees.

As far as the existential argument for self-hating homos, I cant disagree, though I'm not sure that that leads directly to a desire to betray one's country. I could see it lead just as easily into a personality which is more likely to subsume itself into the larger organization and cause, i.e., exhibit blind loyalty and extreme dedication.

Anonymous said...

Are gay marriage and gays serving in the military constitutional rights? Did a group of Christian men, at a time when religion was taken much more seriously than it is today, draft a constitution including such rights for homosexuals?

Six states have approved gay marriage while 30 states have a constitutional ban. Are these 30 states misreading the US constitution?

I side with intelligent, reasoned conservative thinkers who conclude "no".

So the question is not about constitution rights, but an argument could be made for offering gays equal opportunity. Equal opportunity is a noble objective.

But lets consider equal opportunity for homosexuals and for sociopaths. Neither sociopaths nor homosexuals can help the fact that they are different. It is my understanding that police try to screen against hiring sociopaths for obvious reasons. And I assume this goes beyond obvious criminal records. Similarly some employers have you sign an agreement that they can do a criminal background check on you, contact any of your former co-workers, your neighbors, and anyone else. This sounds like a sociopath screen. So, it has been accepted that police, employers, and I assume many other organizations may legally screen against sociopaths, including sociopaths without criminal records. Why? Because they could be disruptive, at a minimum, and dangerous at worst.

A similar argument can be made against gay marriage, gays in the military, and gays acting flamboyantly gay in public. At a minimum its disruptive. After thousands of years of male / female marriage as the exclusive social institution for reproduction, we are now to accept gay marriage. I recently read an article claiming that male on male sexual assault with the military is a major problem. In addition if it makes many, or most, heterosexual males uncomfortable to be in the field, sleeping in tight quarters, etc., then that is disruptive. When I walk down the street in my local town and see gay men walking, wagging their butts in a more exaggerated manner than any woman would, hand gesturing, and talking in a hyper-feminine manner, that is disruptive. Should children be unable to avoid this?

On the same grounds that sociopaths can be excluded from many things due to their disruptive nature, gays should also.

- Ed

John Craig said...

Ed --
Constitutionality aside, I still support gays in the military and gay marriage because they basically represent equal rights.

I have nothing against segregated homosexual and heterosexual units in the military for those who are uncomfortable with people of the other persuasion. I was talking to a soldier the other day who said that the military shouldn't be subject to the same sorts of civilian laws regarding equality of opportunity, since its function is to protect the country, and that's too important a function to degrade by feminizing and dumbing down the military. He makes a good point, but I think gays can contribute to the military too. And equality of opportunity definitely does not mean equality of results; I'm against any sort of affirmative action in the military (as well as elsewhere).

As far as male sexual assault in the military being a problem, that's not a reason to exclude homos anymore than male on female sexual assault is a good reason to exclude males. In both cases, they should just go after and punish the perpetrators. Also, my guess is that a lot of the males who commit those assaults don't consider themselves homosexual (similarly to the jailhouse philosophy that as long as you're a pitcher and not a catcher, you haven't gone over to the other side).

Also, those flamboyant guys you see in your hometown who wiggle their butts are a totally different breed than the male-on-male sexual assaulters, who are more like prison rapists: big, intimidating guys who threaten violence.

As far as the flamboyant gays whom children should be protected against, the children who are too young to know what's going on won't be offended by it, and those who are old enough to be disgusted are not going to be traumatized by it.

Once before on this blog between I compared Aspies and sociopaths to make a point about the degree to which Aspies should be held responsible for their own behavior. Not sure the comparison between gays and sociopaths is apt, though. One is a mental syndrome, the other is a sexuality. Yes, both an't be helped, and neither condition will ever be changed. But screening for sociopaths in police departments is done because sociopaths will inevitably end up abusing their power as policemen. I don't think homos would be any more inclined to abuse their privileges as servicemen anymore than heteros would.

Anonymous said...

I genuinely can't tell if this blog is a joke or not.

John Craig said...

Anon --
I'm guessing from the timing of your comment that you're the same person who just commented on the Aspergers Syndrome post.

Some of the posts -- like the articles on fashion -- are intended to be primarily humorous, but most of it is serious. However, if you have Aspergers, you'll have a hard time telling the two apart, here and elsewhere.