Chelsea Manning was released from military prison last week. She served 7 of her thirty-five year sentence for leaking secret documents and military cables to Wikileaks.
Many people, including politicians like Donald Trump and John McCain, claim that Chelsea is a dangerous traitor who should serve her full sentence. But in this podcast, Lindsey Paris-Lopez and I discuss how Chelsea is not a traitor. In fact, she’s a Christ-like hero. Listen to the podcast above, watch the video below, and read the show notes to discover the truth about Chelsea Manning.
Show Notes – Three Reasons Why Chelsea Manning is a Christ-like Figure
- She exposes our violence. So did Jesus.
- She was persecuted by the State. The State is invested in preserving the mythology of sacred violence. It’s very easy to relate what the U.S. did to Chelsea Manning to what the Roman Empire did to Jesus.
- She forgives her abusers. After all she has been through, she will not speak ill of those who abused her in jail. True understanding and peace can only come through forgiveness. At the same time, such empathy and forgiveness is risky, not only because it’s hard, but because forgiveness and compassion can seem like validation. It requires trust in a power beyond yourself to guide the heart toward repentance. We’re not sure what Chelsea Manning’s faith is, but we think she has enough faith in humanity to believe that, treated with compassion and understanding, human beings will cease and repent from violence and cruelty.
Editor’s Note: In the video, I (Lindsey Paris-Lopez) said that Wikileaks was careful to redact sensitive information from the documents Chelsea Manning leaked. I was mistaken; information was not redacted. However, Wikileaks attempted to redact sensitive information by contacting the State Department, which never responded. Glenn Greenwald explains: “I think people forget the extent to which WikiLeaks actually did some pretty traditional journalism with these leaks. They redacted a bunch of documents; they actually went to the State Department and asked for help getting the State Department’s advice about which documents should and shouldn’t be disclosed. And the State Department refused to do it, but they did ask. And then they worked with the Guardian and The New York Times and other traditional media outlets from around the world in order to publish these documents….” It must also be noted that, at her trial, even those against her conceded that her leaks had not harmed national security. I apologize for the mistake.
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