Bradley Manning (about whom I have naturally written before) has gotten himself into trouble agin without putting a finger to keypad.
The San Francisco LGBT Pride Celebration Committee announced several grand marshal selections April 24 for this year’s parade and celebration.
Then nanoseconds later —
[Updated: Late Friday afternoon (April 26), Pride board President Lisa Williams issued a statement saying that Manning would not be a grand marshal after all. She attributed his selection to an unnamed staff member acting under his own initiative.
“It was a mistake,” Williams said in the statement, “and should never have been allowed to happen.”
“26 April 2013: Bradley Manning will not be a grand marshal in this year’s San Francisco Pride celebration. His nomination was a mistake and should never have been allowed to happen. A staff person at SF Pride, acting under his own initiative, prematurely contacted Bradley Manning based on internal conversations within the SF Pride organization. That was an error and that person has been disciplined. He does not now, nor did he at that time, speak for SF Pride.
Bradley Manning is facing the military justice system of this country. We all await the decision of that system. However, until that time, even the hint of support for actions which placed in harms way the lives of our men and women in uniform — and countless others, military and civilian alike — will not be tolerated by the leadership of San Francisco Pride. It is, and would be, an insult to every one, gay and straight, who has ever served in the military of this country. There are many, gay and straight, military and non-military, who believe Bradley Manning to be innocent. There are many who feel differently. Under the US Constitution, they have a first amendment right to show up, participate and voice their opinions at Pride this year.
Specifically, what these events have revealed is a system whereby a less-than-handful of people may decide who represents the LGBT community’s highest aspirations as grand marshals for SF Pride. This is a systemic failure that now has become apparent and will be rectified. In point of fact, less than 15 people actually cast votes for Bradley Manning. These 15 people are part of what is called the SF Pride Electoral College, comprised of former SF Pride Grand Marshals. However, as an organization with a responsibility to serve the broader community, SF Pride repudiates this vote. The Board of Directors for SF Pride never voted to support this nomination. Bradley Manning will have his day in court, but will not serve as an official participant in the SF Pride Parade.”
They forgot the “HARUMPF!”
Bradley Edward Manning (born December 17, 1987) is a United States Army soldier who was arrested in May 2010 in Iraq on suspicion of having passed classified material to the website WikiLeaks. He was charged with a number of offenses, including communicating national defense information to an unauthorized source and aiding the enemy, a capital offense, though prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty. He was arraigned in February 2012 at Fort Meade, Maryland, where he declined to enter a plea. The trial is expected to begin in June 2013
Needless to say there’s no indication of when or if any trial will begin. Here’s where to go for info and updates
Meanwhile ardent Manning defender Glennzilla
I originally had no intention of writing about this episode, but the more I discovered about it, the more revealing it became. So let’s just consider a few of the points raised by all of this.
First, while even a hint of support for Manning will not be tolerated, there is a long roster of large corporations serving as the event’s sponsors who are welcomed with open arms. The list is HERE. It includes AT&T and Verizon, the telecom giants that enabled the illegal warrantless eavesdropping on US citizens by the Bush administration and its NSA, only to get retroactively immunized from Congress and thus shielded from all criminal and civil liability (including a lawsuit brought in San Francisco against those corporations by their customers who were illegally spied on). Last month, AT&T was fined by OSHA for failing to protect one of its employees who was attacked, was found by the FCC last year to have overcharged customers by secretly switching them to plans they didn’t want, and is now being sued by the US government for “allegedly bill[ing] the government improperly for services designed for the deaf and hard-of-hearing who place calls by typing messages over the web.”
This is what Bradley Manning typed over the web:
That SF Pride should have considered Bradley Manning at all is a shock. Not because of the fact that he’s a politial prisoner but because “Gay Pride” events are all about Corporate Sponsorship. They’re huge ad campaugns designed to get the LGBT to buy stuff.
No room for celebration of real LGBT heroes — of which Manning is arguably one. Do I really need to name those who should have had parades in their honor and never will?
To close here’s Ray MacDonald, a marvelous MGM contract player who reminds me of Bradley Manning — singing my very favorite song.