“I am Chelsea Manning. As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” Manning said in the statement. “I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.” –Chelsea Manning

He clearly has mental health issues, and while some will argue over spending tax payer money on him, he (I’ll now identify him as female) is entitled to whatever mental health support is available in prison. I have no issues with this. Regardless of Manning’s gender identity issues, she’s been found guilty. I doubt there will be much help or sympathy for Chelsea at Fort Leavenworth outside of what’s available through normal channels.

We’ve covered Manning extensively on SOFREP, we’ve pointed out how Army leadership failed her, and how what she leaked ultimately put American lives at risk. With the recent sentencing and news about the gender change, I figured it was time to throw my own rant into the ring.

I love America. It’s an incredible country with opportunities afforded to its citizens that few countries can match.  As much as I can’t stand what’s happened to our political landscape in Washington, seeing our constitutional rights trampled on by politicians with no honor, we are still a great country, and I believe in America.

We shouldn’t be quick to idolize people like Snowden, Manning, or even my fellow Navy SEAL Matt Bissonette.  The facts stand alone. All of them betrayed the trust that the US government put in their hands. They’ll argue otherwise, but it’s an argument and interpretation that they don’t have the luxury of making. Add to it that all of them had available channels to voice concerns or vet information through (a DOD review, in Matt’s case), and none of them took any of these steps.  They rushed for the spotlight instead, and now they will have to pay the piper.

Manning is a fool’s hero, and history will remember her as such. She betrayed her country and all of us by leaking thousands of classified documents, and she put American lives at risk.  She made her bed, and now she will have to sleep in it for 35 years.

(Featured Image Courtesy: Bain News Service)