Teabaggers Add Cream to Wikileaks Scandal, Make it Mildly Gayer

Page of a U.S. Army training guide on homosexual conduct policy, from Wikipedia.

The front page of the New York Times today has a story about Pfc. Bradley Manning, the reputed source of the Afghan War Diary documents posted by Wikileaks. This isn’t the first place that it’s been disclosed that Pfc. Manning is gay, since, ferinstance, Gawker reported “strong evidence” of that back in June. But it’s provided right-wing bloggers with the opportunity to rail against the “liberal” mainstream media for not covering Pfc. Manning’s fabulous gayness until now. Speculation even before the Gawker post seems to have been that Pfc. Manning was transgender, which seems to have derived from a Facebook post in which he described himself as a drag queen.

Damn you people anyway; you always get that shit mixed up. Look, it’s very simple, people. Drag queen ≠ transgender, unless she is, or he, depending on said drag queen’s philosophical orientation and gender identity, which may exist as separate and distinct from any pink bouffant wigs and/or ten-inch platform Lucite heels s/he might be wearing. Am I getting through to you?

But then, right-wingers also think it makes Manning a “radical gay activist” to carry a sign at a gay pride march, where, quite frankly, if you’re not carrying a sign you’re likely to get your pecker sunburned.

Anyway, certain commentators (aka wingnuts) are frothing at the mouth, because if there’s one thing right-wingers love more than whistleblowers (or, as they’re fond of calling them, “traitors”), it’s teh gays.

The most disturbing part of the response to the NYT articles is that it gives the far-right bloggers exactly the sort of fuel they “need” for their anti-liberal paranoid conspiracy theories. I mean, it’s a given that I hang out in chat rooms with the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Noam Chomsky, the nation of Canada and half a dozen left-of-center Indiana state legislators who want to outlaw fully-automatic weapons. Every Friday night, we all hop Learjets charted by the Bilderberg Group and travel to San Francisco, where we slosh about naked in a tub filled with baby oil (Literally. Baby Oil.) smoking medical marijuana. Then we “explore” our sexuality between acid-fueled conversations about how we can best resurrect Joe Stalin while finally outlawing SUVs and forcing everyone to drive those little golf carts that only go 35 miles an hour and only come in one color — lavender.

Right-wing Newsbusters.org comes down on the only-moderately-crazed end of the spectrum, asking “Did [Pfc. Manning] leak the information in question as an act of protest or vendetta against military policies of which he disapproved? It’s not at all clear. But shouldn’t the mainstream press at least note that possibility?” Newsbusters refers, of course, to the “Don’t ask, Don’t tell” policy, which Manning could be seen openly protesting on his Facebook page well before the scandal.

Avoiding right-wing blogs is a way of life for me, but it did give me a chance to see banner ads advertising new books by Benedict XVI! That’s where I go to look for incisive political commentary, someone promoting the works of a man whose major priority as Pope is not addressing endemic poverty and disease in the Catholic communities of Africa, Asia and South America, but issuing the Summorum Pontificum making it easier to celebrate the Tridentine Mass. And when you hit things like this one, it really puts things in perspective:

Unreal. State-Run Media Suppresses Fact That Wikileaks Traitor Is Radical Gay Activist
Posted by Jim Hoft on Tuesday, August 3, 2010, 2:25 PM
Had you heard this yet?
The Wikileaks leaker is a radical gay activist nut who was upset over a recent break up… So he leaked over 90,000 classified military documents.

Do you think this might be an important piece of information in the Wikileaks scandal?

Apparently, our corrupt journolist state-run media doesn’t think it’s important. Or maybe they’re just hiding it from the public?

…No they wouldn’t do that.

Hey, I’m not going to bag on the guy for misspelling “journalist” — anyone could make that error. But what I do wonder is whether our media was “state-run” twenty-one months ago, when it would, presumably, have been state-run by a Republican administration with strong Fundamentalist ties? Or did it only get “bought” recently by that handsome man with the protruding ears who just handed me a phattie of the best Skunky Monkey I ever smoked? (Funny thing, though. He didn’t inhale).

To the far-right fanatics, the perceived “failure” of the mainstream press to properly emphasize Manning’s homosexuality is gross misconduct. This is because the homophobic far right wants to connect the dots between homosexuality and treason. To them, this connection is obvious; to the far right, homosexuality is treason. But whether Manning thought he was protesting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell or not, it’s as ridiculous to connect the dots and “indict” gays in the military for Manning’s actions as it would be to claim one supports Mannings actions because he was protesting Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.

To my mind, the only justifiable reason for supporting what Manning did is if you support what Manning did. I don’t, and I think he fucked up. But then, a culture of radical homophobia, oppressive restrictions and enforced secrecy tends to build fuckups, as evidenced by all the right-wing bloggers out there. I think Manning is a troubled young man. What better recipe to build troubled young men than to assault their self-esteem every second of every day with the message that gays are not people?

Build dysfunction into your society and you get what you pay for. Build dysfunction into your institutions, and you reap what you sow. Of course, maybe I’m just connecting the dots, and maybe the right-wing blogosphere would like me to do exactly that — with my being a radical liberal activist and all. And maybe those dots are not really there to be connected, because Manning’s behavior was not a calculated act of patriotism but a confused lashing out, like the queer kid who gets the shit beaten out of him and then lights the cafeteria on fire. Ya think?

But anybody can get pissed off because society sucks.

What if Manning leaked the documents simply because he opposed the war? What if he had leaked them because he supported worldwide Marxist revolution? What if he had leaked them because he felt that our government was controlled by a secret liberal cabal conspiring with the French and Canadians to take away states’ rights, or because he supported a right-wing movement seeking to prevent an “American dictatorship” by forming armed militias to enforce the Second Amendment?

Would right-wing bloggers wanna connect the dots then?

Image above from Wikipedia

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