Chelsea Manning

Freshman Voice: Is Chelsea Manning a Hero or Traitor?

If Edward Snowden came out of the dark and ran for president in 2020 would you vote for him? Similarly, if a transgender ex-army intelligence analyst who leaked classified government documents ran for senate, would you vote for her?

Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning, released thousands of military documents including videos of American soldiers mistakenly killing innocent people in Baghdad via airstrike. She sent the videos to Wiki Leaks in early 2010 in hopes of educating the American people on what the government is not showing them. Manning was dishonorably discharged from the Army and sentenced to 35 years in prison for violating the espionage act which prevents people from interfering with foreign relations. After serving 7 years of her sentence, President Obama commuted the sentence due to her two suicide attempts and harsh life in a male prison.

Manning recently decided to run for U.S. senate in Maryland, leaving Americans wondering if an ex-convict should be allowed to lead and make political decisions. Here’s my take:

Look, we all know bad people are capable of and are currently holding leadership positions. In this case, your thoughts of the topic ultimately come down to if you think Manning is a hero or traitor. Personally, I commend the people who choose to inform the public of the horrid secrets our own government is actively hiding from its people. Take Daniel Ellsberg for example. He leaked the pentagon papers in 1969 that ended up doing more good for the country than bad. Who is to say this is not a similar situation?

In a recent interview Manning said, “I’m walking out of prison and a see a dystopian novel unfolding before my eyes.” Later adding that “the fact that people are telling me I shouldn’t do this is the reason that I should.”

As for whether or not she should be able to hold office, I think if she is qualified and people agree with her political views then she should be able to. It’s not like she murdered anyone; she simple uncovered many unnecessary murders.

The United States Senate election in Maryland will be held on November 6, 2018. Giving Manning eight months to pine for the position of senate. Whether she is a hero or traitor, she still deserves people’s respect and does not look like she will stop until her point is made. Chelsea is a force to be reckoned with.

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