Same Crime Different Punishment Gender Reassignment

Chelsea Manning

Manning in May 2017

BornBradley Edward Manning
(1987-12-17) December 17, 1987 (age 30)
Crescent, Oklahoma, U.S.
ResidenceNorth Bethesda, Maryland, U.S.[1]
NationalityAmerican
Known forClassified document disclosure to WikiLeaks
Political partyDemocratic
Criminal chargeViolating the Espionage Act, stealing government property, violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, multiple counts of disobeying orders[2]
Criminal penalty35 years imprisonment (commuted to 7 years total confinement), reduction in rank to private(E-1 or PVT), forfeiture of all pay and allowances, dishonorable discharge[3]
Military career
AllegianceUnited States
Service/branchUnited States Army
Years of service
Unit2nd BCT, 10th Mountain Division (former)
Awards
Signature

Chelsea Elizabeth Manning[4] (born Bradley Edward Manning, December 17, 1987) is an American activist,[5] politician,[6] and former United States Army soldier. She was convicted by court-martial in July 2013 of violations of the Espionage Act and other offenses, after disclosing to WikiLeaks nearly 750,000 classified, or unclassified but sensitive, military and diplomatic documents,[7] and was imprisoned between 2010 and 2017. Manning is a trans woman who, in a statement the day after sentencing, said she had a female gender identity since childhood, wanted to be known as Chelsea, and desired to begin hormone replacement therapy.[8]

Assigned in 2009 to an Army unit in Iraq as an intelligence analyst, Manning had access to classified databases. In early 2010, she leaked classified information to WikiLeaks and confided this to Adrian Lamo, an online acquaintance.[9] Lamo indirectly informed the Army's Criminal Investigation Command, and Manning was arrested in May that same year.[10] The material included videos of the July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike, and the 2009 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan; 251,287 U.S. diplomatic cables;[11] and 482,832 Army reports that came to be known as the "Iraq War Logs"[12] and "Afghan War Diary".[13] The material was published by WikiLeaks and its media partners between April 2010 and April 2011.

Manning was charged with 22 offenses, including aiding the enemy, which was the most serious charge and could have resulted in a death sentence.[14] She was held at the Marine Corps Brig, Quantico in Virginia, from July 2010 to April 2011, under Prevention of Injury status—which entailed de facto solitary confinement and other restrictions that caused domestic and international concern[15]—before being transferred to the Joint Regional Correctional Facility at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where she could interact with other detainees.[16] She pleaded guilty in February 2013 to 10 of the charges.[17] The trial on the remaining charges began on June 3, 2013, and on July 30 she was convicted of 17 of the original charges and amended versions of four others, but was acquitted of aiding the enemy.[18] She was sentenced to serve a 35-year sentence at the maximum-security U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth.[19][20] On January 17, 2017, President Barack Obama commuted Manning's sentence to nearly seven years of confinement dating from her arrest on May 27, 2010.[21][22] Manning now earns a living through speaking engagements.[23] In January 2018, she announced her candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the United States Senate election in her home state of Maryland, challenging incumbent senator Ben Cardin.[24]

Background

Early life

Born Bradley Edward Manning in 1987, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma,[25] she was the second child of Susan Fox, originally from Wales, and Brian Manning, an American. Brian had joined the United States Navy in 1974, at the age of 19, and served for five years as an intelligence analyst. Brian met Susan in a local Woolworths store while stationed in Wales at RAF Brawdy.[26] Manning's older sister, Casey Manning, was born in 1976. The couple returned to the United States in 1979, settling first in California. After their move near Crescent, Oklahoma, they bought a two-story house with an above-ground swimming pool and 5 acres (2 hectares) of land, where they kept pigs and chickens.[27][28]

Manning's sister Casey told the court-martial that both their parents were alcoholics, and that their mother had drunk continually while pregnant with Chelsea. Captain David Moulton, a Navy psychiatrist, told the court that Manning's facial features showed signs of fetal alcohol syndrome.[29] Casey became Manning's principal caregiver, waking at night to make a bottle for the baby. The court heard that Manning was fed only milk and baby food until the age of two. As an adult she reached 5 ft 2 in (1.57 m) and weighed around 105 pounds (48 kg).[30][31]

Manning's father took a job as an information technology (IT) manager for a rental car agency, The Hertz Corporation,[32] which required travel. The family lived several miles out of town, and Manning's mother was unable to drive. She spent her days drinking, while Manning was left largely to fend for herself, playing with Legos or on the computer. Brian would stock up on food before his trips, and leave pre-signed checks that Casey mailed to pay the bills. A neighbor said that whenever Manning's elementary school went on field trips, she would give her own son extra food or money so he could make sure Manning had something to eat. Friends and neighbors considered the Mannings a troubled family.[33][34][35][36][37]

Parents' divorce, move to Wales

As a child, Manning was opinionated about the intersection of religion and politics.[38] For example, she remained silent during the part of the Pledge of Allegiance that refers to God.[39][40]

In a 2011 interview Manning's father said, "People need to understand that he's a young man that had a happy life growing up." He also said that Manning excelled at the saxophone, science, and computers, and created a website at the age of 10. Manning learned how to use PowerPoint, won the grand prize three years in a row at the local science fair, and in sixth grade, took top prize at a statewide quiz bowl.[34][35][41]

A childhood friend of Manning's, speaking about a conversation they had when Manning was 13, said: "he told me he was gay". The friend also said that Manning's home life was not good and that her father was very controlling. Around this time, Manning's parents divorced. She and her mother Susan moved out of the house to a rented apartment in Crescent, Oklahoma.[42][43][44][45][46] Susan's instability continued, and in 1998 she attempted suicide; Manning's sister drove their mother to the hospital, with the 11-year-old Manning sitting in the back of the car trying to make sure their mother was still breathing.[47]

Manning's father remarried in 2000, the same year as his divorce. His new wife, also named Susan, had a son from a previous relationship. Manning apparently reacted badly when the son changed his surname to Manning, too; she started taking running jumps at the walls, telling her mother: "I'm nobody now."[34]

In November 2001, Manning and her mother left the United States and moved to Haverfordwest, Wales, where her mother had family. Manning attended the town's Tasker Milward secondary school. A school friend there told Ed Caesar for The Sunday Times that Manning's personality was "unique, extremely unique. Very quirky, very opinionated, very political, very clever, very articulate."[48][49] Manning's interest in computers continued, and in 2003, she and a friend, James Kirkpatrick, set up an online message board, angeldyne.com,[50] that offered games and music downloads.[51][52]

Manning became the target of bullying at the school because she was the only American and was viewed as effeminate. Manning had come out to two friends in Oklahoma as gay, but was not open about it at school in Wales.[53][54] The students would imitate her accent,[53] and apparently abandoned her once during a camping trip; her aunt told The Washington Post that Manning awoke to an empty camp site one morning, after everyone else had packed up their tents and left without her.[34][41]

Return to the United States

After graduating from high school in 2005 at age 17,[37][55] and fearing that her mother was becoming too ill to cope, Manning returned to the United States.[56][57] She moved in with her father in Oklahoma City, where he was living with his second wife and her child. Manning got a job as a developer with a software company, Zoto, and was apparently happy for a time, but was let go after four months. Her boss told The Washington Post that on a few occasions Manning had "just locked up" and would simply sit and stare, and in the end communication became too difficult. The boss told the newspaper that "nobody's been taking care of this kid for a really long time".[58][59]

By then, Manning was living as an openly gay man. Her relationship with her father was apparently good, but there were problems between Manning and her stepmother. In March 2006, Manning reportedly threatened her stepmother with a knife during an argument about Manning's failure to get another job; the stepmother called the police, and Manning was asked to leave the house. Manning drove to Tulsa in a pickup truck her father had given her, at first slept in it, then moved in with a friend from school. The two got jobs at Incredible Pizza in April. Manning moved on to Chicago before running out of money and again having nowhere to stay. Her mother arranged for Brian's sister, Debra, a lawyer in Potomac, Maryland, to take Manning in. Nicks wrote that the 15 months Manning spent with her aunt were among the most stable of her life. Chelsea had a boyfriend, took several low-paid jobs, and spent a semester studying history and English at Montgomery College, but left after failing an exam.[60][61][62][63]

Military service

Enlistment in the Army

Manning's father spent weeks in late 2007 asking her to consider joining the Army. Hoping to gain a college education through the G.I. Bill, and perhaps to study for a PhD in physics, she enlisted in September that year.[64][65][66] She told her Army supervisor later that she had also hoped joining such a masculine environment would resolve her gender identity disorder.[67]

Manning began basic training at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri, on October 2, 2007. She wrote that she soon realized she was neither physically nor mentally prepared for it.[68] Six weeks after enlisting, she was sent to the discharge unit. She was allegedly being bullied, and in the opinion of another soldier, was having a breakdown. The soldier told The Guardian: "The kid was barely five foot ... He was a runt, so pick on him. He's crazy, pick on him. He's a faggot, pick on him. The guy took it from every side. He couldn't please anyone." Nicks writes that Manning, who was used to being bullied, fought back—if the drill sergeants screamed at her, she would scream at them—to the point where they started calling her "General Manning".[69][70][71][72]

The decision to discharge her was revoked, and she started basic training again in January 2008. After graduating in April, she moved to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, in order to attend Advanced Individual Training (AIT) for Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) 35F, intelligence analyst, receiving a TS/SCI security clearance (Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information). According to Nicks, this security clearance, combined with the digitization of classified information and the government's policy of sharing it widely, gave Manning access to an unprecedented amount of material. Nicks writes that Manning was reprimanded while at Fort Huachuca for posting three video messages to friends on YouTube, in which she described the inside of the "Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility" (SCIF) where she worked.[73][74][75][76][77] Upon completion of her initial MOS course, Manning received the Army Service Ribbon and the National Defense Service Medal.[78]

Move to Fort Drum, deployment to Iraq

In August 2008, Manning was sent to Fort Drum in Jefferson County, New York, where she joined the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, and trained for deployment to Iraq.[79] In late 2008 while stationed there, she met Tyler Watkins, who was studying neuroscience and psychology at Brandeis University, near Boston. Watkins was her first serious relationship, and she posted happily on Facebook about it, regularly traveling 300 miles (480 km) to Boston on visits.[80]

Watkins introduced her to a network of friends and the university's hacker community. She also visited Boston University's "hackerspace" workshop, known as "Builds", and met its founder, David House, the MIT researcher who was later allowed to visit her in jail. In November 2008, she gave an anonymous interview to a high-school reporter during a rally in Syracuse in support of gay marriage:

I was kicked out of my home and I once lost my job. The world is not moving fast enough for us at home, work, or the battlefield. I've been living a double life. ... I can't make a statement. I can't be caught in an act. I hope the public support changes. I do hope to do that before ETS [Expiration of Term of Service].[81][82][83][84]

Nicks writes that Manning would travel back to Washington, D.C., for visits. An ex-boyfriend helped her find her way around the city's gay community, introducing her to lobbyists, activists, and White House aides. Back at Fort Drum, she continued to display emotional problems and, by August 2009, had been referred to an Army mental-health counselor.[85][86] A friend told Nicks that Manning could be emotionally fraught, describing an evening they had watched two movies together—The Last King of Scotland and Dancer in the Dark—after which Manning cried for hours. By September 2009 her relationship with Watkins was in trouble; they reconciled for a short time, but it was effectively over.[87][88]

After four weeks at the Joint Readiness Training Center (JRTC) in Fort Polk, Louisiana, Manning was deployed to Forward Operating Base Hammer, near Baghdad, arriving in October 2009. From her workstation there, she had access to SIPRNet (the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network) and JWICS (the Joint Worldwide Intelligence Communications System). Two of her superiors had discussed not taking her to Iraq; it was felt she was a risk to herself and possibly others, according to a statement later issued by the Army—but the shortage of intelligence analysts dictated their decision to take her.[89][90] In November 2009, she was promoted from Private First Class to Specialist.[91]

Contact with gender counselor

In November 2009 Manning wrote to a gender counselor in the United States, said she felt female, and discussed having surgery. The counselor told Steve Fishman of New York magazine in 2011 that it was clear Manning was in crisis, partly because of her gender concerns, but also because she was opposed to the kind of war in which she found herself involved.[92]

She was by all accounts unhappy and isolated. Because of the military's "Don't ask, don't tell" (DADT) policy (in effect until September 20, 2011), Manning was unable to live as an openly gay man without risk of being discharged. But she apparently made no secret of her orientation: her friends said she kept a fairy wand on her desk. When she told her roommate she was attracted to men, he responded by suggesting they not speak to each other.[93][94] Manning's working conditions included 14- to 15-hour night shifts in a tightly packed, dimly lit room.[95]

On December 20, 2009, during a counseling session with two colleagues to discuss her poor time-keeping, Manning was told she would lose her one day off a week for persistent lateness. She responded by overturning a table, damaging a computer that was sitting on it. A sergeant moved Manning away from the weapons rack, and other soldiers pinned her arms behind her back and dragged her out of the room. Several witnesses to the incident believed her access to sensitive material ought to have been withdrawn at that point.[96][97][98][99] The following month, January 2010, she began posting on Facebook that she felt hopeless and alone.[100]

Release of material to WikiLeaks

Manning said her first contact with WikiLeaks took place in January 2010, when she began to interact with them on IRC and Jabber. She had first noticed them toward the end of November 2009, when they posted 570,000 pager messages from the September 11 attacks.[101][102]

Items of historical significance of two wars Iraq and Afghanistan Significant Activity, Sigacts, between 0001 January 2004 and 2359 31 December 2009 extracts from CSV documents from Department of Defense and CDNE database.

These items have already been sanitized of any source identifying information.

You might need to sit on this information for 90 to 180 days to best send and distribute such a large amount of data to a large audience and protect the source.

This is one of the most significant documents of our time removing the fog of war and revealing the true nature of 21st century asymmetric warfare.

Have a good day.

Manning, January 9, 2010[103]

On January 5, 2010, Manning downloaded the 400,000 documents that became known as the Iraq War logs.[103] On January 8, she downloaded 91,000 documents from the Afghanistan database, known later as part of the Afghan War logs. She saved the material on CD-RW and smuggled it through security by labeling the CD-RW media "Lady Gaga".[104] She then copied it onto her personal computer.[105] The next day, she wrote a message in a readme.txt file (see right), which she told the court was initially intended for The Washington Post.[106]

Manning copied the files from her laptop to an SD card for her camera, so that she could take it with her to the United States while on R&R leave.[105] Army investigators later found the SD card in Manning's basement room in her aunt's home, in Potomac, Maryland.[107] On January 23, Manning flew to the United States via Germany, for two weeks of leave. It was during this visit that she first went out dressed as a woman, wearing a wig and makeup.[108][109][110] After her arrest, her former partner, Tyler Watkins, told Wired that Manning had said during the visit that she had found some sensitive information and was considering leaking it.[111]

Manning contacted The Washington Post and The New York Times to ask if they were interested in the material; the Post reporter did not sound interested, and the Times did not return the call. Manning decided instead to pass it to WikiLeaks, and on February 3 sent them the Iraq and Afghan War logs via Tor. She returned to Iraq on February 11, with no acknowledgement from WikiLeaks that they had received the files.[112]

On or around February 18, she passed WikiLeaks a diplomatic cable, dated January 13, 2010, from the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavík, Iceland.[113] They published it within hours, which suggested to Manning that they had received the other material, too.[114] She found the Baghdad helicopter attack ("Collateral murder") video in a Judge Advocate's directory and passed it to WikiLeaks on or around February 21.[115][116] In late March, she sent them a video of the May 2009 Granai airstrike in Afghanistan; this was the video later removed and apparently destroyed by Daniel Domscheit-Berg when he left the organization.[117][118][119][120] Between March 28 and April 9, she downloaded the 250,000 diplomatic cables and on April 10, uploaded them to a WikiLeaks dropbox.[121]

Manning told the court that, during her interaction with WikiLeaks on IRC and Jabber, she developed a friendship with someone there, believed to be Julian Assange (although neither knew the other's name), which she said made her feel she could be herself.[122] Army investigators found 14 to 15 pages of encrypted chats, in unallocated space on her MacBook's hard drive, between Manning and someone believed to be Assange.[107] She wrote in a statement that the more she had tried to fit in at work, the more alienated she became from everyone around her. The relationship with WikiLeaks had given her a brief respite from the isolation and anxiety.[122]

Email to supervisor, recommended discharge

On April 24, 2010, Manning sent an email to her supervisor, Master Sergeant Paul Adkins—with the subject line "My Problem"—saying she was suffering from gender identity disorder. She attached a photograph of herself dressed as a woman and with the filename breanna.jpg.[123] She wrote:

This is my problem. I've had signs of it for a very long time. It's caused problems within my family. I thought a career in the military would get rid of it. It's not something I seek out for attention, and I've been trying very, very hard to get rid of it by placing myself in situations where it would be impossible. But, it's not going away; it's haunting me more and more as I get older. Now, the consequences of it are dire, at a time when it's causing me great pain in itself ...[67]

Adkins discussed the situation with Manning's therapists, but did not pass the email to anybody above him in his chain of command; he told Manning's court-martial that he was concerned the photograph would be disseminated among other staff.[124]Captain Steven Lim, Manning's company commander, said he first saw the email after Manning's arrest, when information about hormone replacement therapy was found in Manning's room on base; at that point Lim learned that Manning had been calling herself Breanna.[97]

Manning told former "grey hat" hacker Adrian Lamo that she had set up Twitter and YouTube accounts as Breanna to give her female identity a digital presence, writing to Lamo: "I wouldn't mind going to prison for the rest of my life [for leaking information], or being executed so much, if it wasn't for the possibility of having pictures of me ... plastered all over the world press ... as [a] boy ... the CPU is not made for this motherboard".[125] On April 30 she posted on Facebook that she was utterly lost, and over the next few days wrote that she was "not a piece of equipment", and was "beyond frustrated" and "livid" after being "lectured by ex-boyfriend despite months of relationship ambiguity".[126]

On May 7, according to Army witnesses, Manning was found curled in a fetal position in a storage cupboard; she had a knife at her feet and had cut the words "I want" into a vinyl chair. A few hours later she had an altercation with a female intelligence analyst, Specialist Jihrleah Showman, during which she punched Showman in the face. The brigade psychiatrist recommended a discharge, referring to an "occupational problem and adjustment disorder". Manning's supervisor removed the bolt from her weapon, making it unable to fire, and she was sent to work in the supply office, although at this point her security clearance remained in place. As punishment for the altercation with Showman, she was demoted from Specialist (E-4) to Private First Class (E-3) three days before her arrest on May 27.[127][128][129][130][131]

Ellen Nakashima writes that, on May 9, Manning contacted Jonathan Odell, a gay American novelist in Minneapolis, via Facebook, leaving a message that she wanted to speak to him in confidence; she said she had been involved in some "very high-profile events, albeit as a nameless individual thus far".[62] On May 19, according to Army investigators, she emailed Eric Schmiedl, a mathematician she had met in Boston, and told him she had been the source of the Baghdad airstrike video. Two days later, she began the series of chats with Adrian Lamo that led to her arrest.[132]

Publication of leaked material

WikiLeaks

WikiLeaks was set up in late 2006 as a disclosure portal, initially using the Wikipedia model, where volunteers would write up restricted or legally threatened material submitted by whistleblowers. It was Julian Assange—an Australian Internet activist and journalist, and the de facto editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks—who had the idea of creating what Ben Laurie called an "open-source, democratic intelligence agency". The open-editing aspect was soon abandoned, but the site remained open for anonymous submissions.[133]

According to Daniel Domscheit-Berg, a former WikiLeaks spokesperson, part of the WikiLeaks security concept was that they did not know who their sources were. The New York Times wrote in December 2010 that the U.S. government was trying to discover whether Assange had been a passive recipient of material from Manning, or had encouraged or helped her to extract the files; if the latter, Assange could be charged with conspiracy. Manning told Lamo in May 2010 that she had developed a working relationship with Assange, communicating directly with him using an encrypted Internet conferencing service, but knew little about him. WikiLeaks did not identify Manning as their source.[134][135][136] Army investigators found pages of chats on Manning's computer between Manning and someone believed to be Julian Assange.[107] Nicks writes that, despite this, no decisive evidence was found of Assange's offering Manning any direction.[137]

Reykjavik13

Further information: Information published by WikiLeaks

On February 18, 2010, WikiLeaks posted the first of the material from Manning, the diplomatic cable from the U.S. Embassy in Reykjavík, a document now known as Reykjavik13.[113][138][139] On March 15, WikiLeaks posted a 32-page report written in 2008 by the U.S. Department of Defense about WikiLeaks itself, and on March 29 it posted U.S. State Department profiles of politicians in Iceland.[140][141][142]

Baghdad airstrike

Further information: July 12, 2007 Baghdad airstrike

WikiLeaks named the Baghdad airstrike video "Collateral Murder", and Assange released it on April 5, 2010, during a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.[146] The video showed two American helicopters firing on a group of 10 men in the Amin District of Baghdad. Two were Reuters employees there to photograph an American Humvee under attack by the Mahdi Army. Pilots mistook their cameras for weapons. The helicopters also fired on a van, targeted earlier by one helicopter, that had stopped to help wounded members of the first group. Two children in the van were wounded, and their father was killed. Pilots also engaged a building where retreating insurgents were holed up. The Washington Post wrote that it was this video, viewed by millions, that put WikiLeaks on the map. According to Nicks, Manning emailed a superior officer after the video aired and tried to persuade her that it was the same version as the one stored on SIPRNet. Nicks writes that it seemed as though Manning wanted to be caught.[146][147]

Afghan War logs, Iraq War logs

Further information: Afghan War documents leak and Iraq War documents leak

On July 25, 2010, WikiLeaks and three media partners—The New York Times, The Guardian, and Der Spiegel—began publishing the 91,731 documents that, in their entirety, became known as the Afghan War logs. (Around 77,000 of these had been published as of May 2012.) This was followed on October 22, 2010, by 391,832 classified military reports covering the period January 2004 to December 2009, which became known as the Iraq War logs. Nicks writes that the publication of the former was a watershed moment, the "beginning of the information age exploding upon itself".[148][149]

Diplomatic cables

Further information: United States diplomatic cables leak and Guantanamo Bay files leak

Manning was also responsible for the "Cablegate" leak of 251,287 State Department cables, written by 271 American embassies and consulates in 180 countries, dated December 1966 to February 2010. The cables were passed by Assange to his three media partners, plus El País and others, and published in stages from November 28, 2010, with the names of sources removed. WikiLeaks said it was the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain.[11][150][151] WikiLeaks published the remaining cables, unredacted, on September 1, 2011, after David Leigh and Luke Harding of The Guardian inadvertently published the passphrase for a file that was still online;[152][153][154] Nicks writes that, consequently, one Ethiopian journalist had to leave his country, and the U.S. government said it had to relocate several sources.[155]

Guantanamo Bay files

Manning was also the source of the Guantanamo Bay files leak, obtained by WikiLeaks in 2010 and published by The New York Times on April 24, 2011.[156][157]

Granai airstrike

Further information: Granai airstrike

Manning said she gave WikiLeaks a video, in late March 2010, of the Granai airstrike in Afghanistan. The airstrike occurred on May 4, 2009, in the village of Granai, Afghanistan, killing 86 to 147 Afghan civilians. The video was never published; Julian Assange said in March 2013 that Daniel Domscheit-Berg had taken it with him when he left WikiLeaks and had apparently destroyed it.[117]

Manning and Adrian Lamo

First contact

On May 20, 2010, Manning contacted Adrian Lamo, a former "grey hat" hacker convicted in 2004 of having accessed The New York Times computer network two years earlier without permission. Lamo had been profiled that day by Kevin Poulsen in Wired magazine; the story said Lamo had been involuntarily hospitalized and diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.[159] Poulsen, by then a reporter, was himself a former hacker who had used Lamo as a source several times since 2000.[158] Indeed it was Poulsen who, in 2002, had told The New York Times that Lamo had gained unauthorized access to its network; Poulsen then wrote the story up for SecurityFocus. Lamo would hack into a system, tell the organization, then offer to fix their security, often using Poulsen as a go-between.[160]

Lamo said Manning sent him several encrypted emails on May 20. He said he was unable to decrypt them but replied anyway and invited the emailer to chat on AOL IM. Lamo said he later turned the emails over to the FBI without having read them.[161]

Chats

In a series of chats between May 21 and 25, Manning—using the handle "bradass87"—told Lamo that she had leaked classified material. She introduced herself as an Army intelligence analyst, and within 17 minutes, without waiting for a reply, alluded to the leaks.[125]

May 21, 2010:

(1:41:12 PM) bradass87: hi

(1:44:04 PM) bradass87: how are you?

(1:47:01 PM) bradass87: im an army intelligence analyst, deployed to eastern baghdad, pending discharge for "adjustment disorder" in lieu of "gender identity disorder"

(1:56:24 PM) bradass87: im sure you're pretty busy ...

(1:58:31 PM) bradass87: if you had unprecedented access to classified networks 14 hours a day 7 days a week for 8+ months, what would you do?[125]

Lamo replied several hours later. He said: "I'm a journalist and a minister. You can pick either, and treat this as a confession or an interview (never to be published) & enjoy a modicum of legal protection." They talked about restricted material in general, then Manning made her first explicit reference to the leaks: "This is what I do for friends." She linked to a section of the May 21, 2010, version of Wikipedia's article on WikiLeaks, which described the WikiLeaks release in March that year of a Department of Defense report on WikiLeaks itself. She added "the one below that is mine too"; the section below in the same article referred to the leak of the Baghdad airstrike ("Collateral Murder") video.[162] Manning said she felt isolated and fragile, and was reaching out to someone she hoped might understand.[125]

May 22, 2010:

(11:49:02 AM) bradass87: im in the desert, with a bunch of hyper-masculine trigger happy ignorant rednecks as neighbors... and the only safe place i seem to have is this satellite internet connection

(11:49:51 AM) bradass87: and i already got myself into minor trouble, revealing my uncertainty over my gender identity ... which is causing me to lose this job ... and putting me in an awkward limbo ...

(11:52:23 AM) bradass87: at the very least, i managed to keep my security clearance [so far] ...

(11:58:33 AM) bradass87: and little does anyone know, but among this "visible" mess, theres the mess i created that no-one knows about yet ...

(12:15:11 PM) bradass87: hypothetical question: if you had free reign [sic] over classified networks for long periods of time ... say, 8–9 months ... and you saw incredible things, awful things ... things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC ... what would you do? ...

(12:21:24 PM) bradass87: say ... a database of half a million events during the iraq war ... from 2004 to 2009 ... with reports, date time groups, lat-lon locations, casualty figures ...? or 260,000 state department cables from embassies and consulates all over the world, explaining how the first world exploits the third, in detail, from an internal perspective? ...

(12:26:09 PM) bradass87: lets just say *someone* i know intimately well, has been penetrating US classified networks, mining data like the ones described ... and been transferring that data from the classified networks over the "air gap" onto a commercial network computer ... sorting the data, compressing it, encrypting it, and uploading it to a crazy white haired aussie who can't seem to stay in one country very long ...

(12:31:43 PM) bradass87: crazy white haired dude = Julian Assange

(12:33:05 PM) bradass87: in other words ... ive made a huge mess :'([125]

Manning said she had started to help WikiLeaks around Thanksgiving in November 2009—which fell on November 26 that year—after WikiLeaks had released the 9/11 pager messages; the messages were released on November 25. She told Lamo she had recognized that the messages came from an NSA database, and that seeing them had made her feel comfortable about stepping forward. Lamo asked what kind of material Manning was dealing with; Manning replied: "uhm ... crazy, almost criminal political backdealings ... the non-PR-versions of world events and crises ..." Although she said she dealt with Assange directly, Manning also said Assange had adopted a deliberate policy of knowing very little about her, telling Manning: "lie to me."[125]

May 22, 2010:

(1:11:54 PM) bradass87: and ... its important that it gets out ... i feel, for some bizarre reason

(1:12:02 PM) bradass87: it might actually change something

(1:13:10 PM) bradass87: i just ... dont wish to be a part of it ... at least not now ... im not ready ... i wouldn't mind going to prison for the rest of my life, or being executed so much, if it wasn't for the possibility of having pictures of me ... plastered all over the world press ... as [a] boy ...

(1:14:11 PM) bradass87: i've totally lost my mind ... i make no sense ... the CPU is not made for this motherboard ... [...]

(1:39:03 PM) bradass87: i cant believe what im confessing to you :'([125]

Lamo again assured her that she was speaking in confidence. Manning wrote: "but im not a source for you ... im talking to you as someone who needs moral and emotional fucking support," and Lamo replied: "i told you, none of this is for print."[125]

Manning said the incident that had affected her the most was when 15 detainees had been arrested by the Iraqi Federal Police for printing anti-Iraqi literature. She was asked by the Army to find out who the "bad guys" were, and discovered that the detainees had followed what Manning said was a corruption trail within the Iraqi cabinet. She reported this to her commanding officer, but said "he didn't want to hear any of it"; she said the officer told her to help the Iraqi police find more detainees. Manning said it made her realize, "i was actively involved in something that i was completely against ..."[125]

She explained that "i cant separate myself from others ... i feel connected to everybody ... like they were distant family," and cited Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman and Elie Wiesel. She said she hoped the material would lead to "hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms. if not ... than [sic] we're doomed as a species." She said she had downloaded the material onto music CD-RWs, erased the music and replaced it with a compressed split file. Part of the reason no one noticed, she said, was that staff were working 14 hours a day, seven days a week, and "people stopped caring after 3 weeks."[125]

May 25, 2010:

(02:12:23 PM) bradass87: so ... it was a massive data spillage ... facilitated by numerous factors ... both physically, technically, and culturally

(02:13:02 PM) bradass87: perfect example of how not to do INFOSEC

(02:14:21 PM) bradass87: listened and lip-synced to Lady Gaga's Telephone while exfiltratrating possibly the largest data spillage in american history [...]

(02:17:56 PM) bradass87: weak servers, weak logging, weak physical security, weak counter-intelligence, inattentive signal analysis ... a perfect storm [...]

(02:22:47 PM) bradass87: i mean what if i were someone more malicious

(02:23:25 PM) bradass87: i could've sold to russia or china, and made bank?

(02:23:36 PM) info@adrianlamo.com: why didn't you?

(02:23:58 PM) bradass87: because it's public data [...]

(02:24:46 PM) bradass87: it belongs in the public domain

(02:25:15 PM) bradass87: Information should be free[125]

Lamo approaches authorities, chat logs published

Shortly after the first chat with Manning, Lamo discussed the information with Chet Uber of the volunteer group Project Vigilant, which researches cybercrime, and with Timothy Webster, a friend who had worked in Army counterintelligence.[163] Both advised Lamo to go to the authorities. His friend informed the Army's Criminal Investigation Command (CID), and Lamo was contacted by CID agents shortly thereafter.[10] He told them he believed Manning was endangering lives.[164] He was largely ostracized by the hacker community afterwards. Nicks argues, on the other hand, that it was thanks to Lamo that the government had months to ameliorate any harm caused by the release of the diplomatic cables.[165]

Lamo met with FBI and Army investigators on May 25 in California, and showed them the chat logs. On or around that date he also passed the story to Kevin Poulsen of Wired, and on May 27 gave him the chat logs and Manning's name under embargo. He met with the FBI again that day, at which point they told him Manning had been arrested in Iraq the day before. Poulsen and Kim Zetter broke the news of the arrest in Wired on June 6.[166]Wired published around 25 percent of the chat logs on June 6 and 10, and the full logs in July 2011.[167]

Legal proceedings

Arrest and charges

Further information: List of charges in United States v. Manning

Manning was arrested by the Army's Criminal Investigation Command,[168] on May 27, 2010, and transferred four days later to Camp Arifjan in Kuwait.[169] She was charged with several offenses in July, replaced by 22 charges in March 2011, including violations of Articles 92 and 134 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and of the Espionage Act. The most serious charge was "aiding the enemy", a capital offense, although prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty.[170] Another charge, which Manning's defense called a "made up offense"[171] but of which she was found guilty, read that Manning "wantonly [caused] to be published on the internet intelligence belonging to the US government, having knowledge that intelligence published on the internet is accessible to the enemy".[172]

Detention

Manning–WikiLeaks timeline

2009

  • Oct: Manning sent to Iraq.
  • Nov: Manning finds Baghdad airstrike video.
  • Nov 25: WikiLeaks (WL) publishes 9/11 pager messages.
  • Nov: Manning allegedly contacts WL.

2010

  • Feb 18: WL releases Reykjavik 13 cable, purportedly from Manning.
  • Mar 15: WL releases Defense Dept
    report about WL, purportedly from Manning.
  • Mar 29: WL releases State Dept profiles, purportedly from Manning.
  • Apr 5: WL releases Baghdad airstrike video, purportedly from Manning.
  • 21–25 May: Manning and Adrian Lamo chat.
  • 27 May
High Street, Haverfordwest, Wales, where Manning went to secondary school
Manning in September 2009

While women have made great strides in achieving gender equity in many areas of American society, gender stereotypes remain pervasive. Voters sometimes have different expectations of female political candidates. Business remains dominated by men. Women are vastly underrepresented in the so-called STEM fields of science, technology, engineering and math. Women often make less money than men working the same jobs. According to the White House, a woman earns an average of 78 cents for each dollar a man makes.

Sometimes, however, gender stereotypes benefit women, particularly in the area of criminal justice. Scholars have found that women receive shorter sentences for sex crimes than men. A 2014 study suggests that federal courts are more lenient on female defendants in general. They are less likely to incarcerate women and tend to give women shorter sentences than men.

A 2015 study published in the Journal of Criminal Justice, “From Initial Appearance to Sentencing: Do Female Defendants Experience Disparate Treatment?,” takes a broader look at gender disparities within the criminal justice system. The four researchers — Natalie Goulette of the University of West Florida and John Wooldredge, James Frank and Lawrence Travis III of the University of Cincinnati — explored outcomes at two key stages of the criminal justice process. They examined decisions that judges made at a defendant’s first appearance hearing and during sentencing. Previous studies had investigated gender disparities in judicial decisions connected with only one of those two events, potentially neglecting the interaction of the outcomes at each phase. The researchers analyzed 3,593 felony cases that had been referred in 2009 to the County Office of the Prosecutor of a large, urban jurisdiction in the northern United States.

Findings include:

  • Women were less likely to be detained before trial. They were 46 percent less likely than men to held in jail prior to a trial.
  • Women who were released on bond were given lower bond amounts. Their bonds were set at amounts that were 54 percent lower than what men were required to pay.
  • Women were 58 percent less likely to be sentenced to prison.
  • For defendants who were sentenced to prison, there generally was no gender disparity in the length of the sentence. There were disparities in sentencing for some individual types of crime, however. For example, female defendants convicted of theft received longer prison sentences than male defendants convicted of theft. Women convicted of “other property offenses” – a category of crimes that includes arson, receiving stolen property and breaking and entering — received shorter prison sentences.
  • Black female defendants were, in some ways, treated differently than white female defendants. Black women were assigned higher bond amounts and were more likely to be sent to prison than white women. Women of both races were equally likely to be released prior to trial.

The authors hypothesize that judges might treat female defendants more leniently when they conform to the traditional gender roles of housewife and mother. Goulette and her colleagues found support for the “evil woman” theory, which suggests that this “chivalry” is reserved for certain groups of women who appear to be docile and in need of protection. The authors suggest that future research should explore the idea that, in some cases, some judges may treat female defendants more harshly if they believe it is in the defendants’ best interest or if the tougher sentence will serve to protect the women in the future. The researchers also suggest that policymakers consider ways to standardize the judicial process, which could reduce disparities by constraining judges’ discretion. The authors stress the need to more carefully monitor the decisions that judges make at a defendant’s first-appearance hearing. “Our findings suggest that decisions related to bond amounts impact pretrial detention which, in turn, is one of the strongest predictors of prison sentences,” the authors state.

Related research: A 2014 study in the American Journal of Criminal Justice, “An Examination of Defendant Sex Disparity in Capital Sentencing: A Propensity Score Matching Approach,” looks at the role of gender in capital sentencing. A 2014 study in Criminal Justice and Behavior, “Needs and Pretrial Failure: Additional Risk Factors for Female and Male Pretrial Defendants,” examines whether female defendants have different needs in pretrial screenings.

 

Keywords: law, gender, gender disparity, civil rights, crime, conviction rates, incarceration rates, sentencing, sex offense, judicial leniency, chivalry, paternalism, single mothers

Citation: Goulette, Natalie; Wooldredge, John; Frank, James; Travis, Lawrence III. “From Initial Appearance to Sentencing: Do Female Defendants Experience Disparate Treatment?,” Journal of Criminal Justice, August 2015, Vol. 45. doi:10.1016/j.jcrimjus.2015.07.003.

Criminal Justice, Gendercrime, law, local reporting

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