By: Cliff Kincaid
Accuracy in Media
The Defense Department hosted a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Pride Month event on June 26, 2012, in the Pentagon Auditorium which featured a speech by Defense Department General Counsel Jeh Johnson and a panel discussion entitled, “The Value of Open Service and Diversity.” But the event failed to include any mention, pro or con, of the most celebrated homosexual soldier in American history, Bradley Manning, who is currently on trial for treason.
An examination of the transcript shows that no one at the DoD event saw fit to denounce Manning’s alleged treachery by leaking classified information to Julian Assange and WikiLeaks. The Washington Post story about the Pentagon “pride” event was silent about the scandal, as if the Manning case has nothing to do with the conduct of homosexuals in the military.
It is clearly a subject that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and other administration officials do not want to bring up in the context of the push for “gay rights” in the military. The reason may be that Manning, who had a security clearance while serving as an intelligence analyst in Iraq, is not only an embarrassment to the Armed Forces but has a connection to the Obama White House that most of the media are afraid to investigate.
“I have sources in the White House re: DADT and the disaster that keeps going on with that… Shin Inouye,” Manning wrote in a series of emails that included the name of a top Obama White House official. DADT is a reference to “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” the policy prohibiting open homosexuality in the military.
Manning had been an out-of-the-closet homosexual before its repeal and had been working with various gay rights and Democratic Party groups. Was he a gay “mole” in the ranks? Who were his “sources” in the Obama White House?
In Manning’s treason trial, the death penalty has inexplicably been ruled out, even though Soviet atom bomb spies Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were both executed for their crimes.
Inouye, a former associate of the ACLU office in Washington, D.C., is openly homosexual and handles gay rights issues in the executive office of the president. Before going to the White House, where he serves as Director of Specialty Media, Inouye was a spokesperson for the Presidential Inaugural Committee and, prior to that, was the Constituency Communications Coordinator at the Obama for America campaign.
Gawker, a website that has tackled the topic because of the sex angle, has reported that Manning was close to Inouye. Manning reportedly said of Inouye, “He’s a friend of mine,” and that a Manning reference to “White House contact (he’s tried to sleep with me, uggh),” included a link to a Facebook photo of Inouye in a White House press room. “Strangely,” Gawker said about the scandal, “Manning’s connection to the D.C. gay establishment, not to mention the White House, has been glossed over.”
Conservative columnist Ann Coulter has argued that Manning’s homosexuality was critical to understanding the case, and noted that foreign intelligence services have traditionally exploited sexual perverts. She wrote, “The most damaging spies in British history were the Cambridge Five, also called the ‘Magnificent Five:’ Kim Philby, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, Donald Maclean and John Cairncross. They were highly placed members of British intelligence, all secretly working for the KGB. The only one who wasn’t gay was Philby. Burgess and Blunt were flamboyantly gay. Indeed, the Russians set Burgess up with a boyfriend as soon as he defected to the Soviet Union.”
She added, “The Magnificent Five’s American compatriot Michael Straight was—ironically—bisexual, as was Whittaker Chambers, at least during the period that he was a spy. And of course, there’s David Brock.” The latter is the conservative journalist who turned into a Democratic Party activist and George Soros operative.
“So many Soviet spies were gay that, according to intelligence reporter Phillip Knightley, the Comintern was referred to as ‘the Homintern,’” Coulter said.
Manning’s connection to Assange, who is now in hiding in the embassy of Ecuador in London, has gotten somewhat more attention. Assange had denied any contact with Manning, but evidence in the case contradicts that claim and it is apparent that Assange misrepresented his dealings with the Army soldier in order to protect himself from possible espionage charges in the U.S. Assange is now seeking political asylum from Ecuador in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden over charges that he sexually assaulted two women. He had been hosting a television program on Moscow-funded Russia Today (RT), where he interviewed such Marxist figures as Noam Chomsky and Tariq Ali, a British Pakistani associated with the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies.
Although the Pentagon doesn’t want to address Manning’s homosexuality in the context of his treason trial, the Bradley Manning Support Network has no qualms about it. This group marched in solidarity with Manning in “Gay Pride” parades in New York City, Chicago, and San Francisco, while holding “Free Bradley Manning” signs. These occurred just two days before the carefully orchestrated DoD gay pride event was held to convince the public that everything is fine and good with open homosexuals in the ranks.
The only story in the “mainstream” press that we saw mentioning the gay support for Manning was in the San Francisco Examiner, where Mike McKee, of a group called “Courage to Resist,” said that he regards Manning as “an influential gay soldier.”
A leading British gay rights activist, Peter Tatchell, who was a founder of Outrage!, a group of self-described “angry queers,” says Manning is a “hero” and a “peace hero.”
James Kirchick, a fellow with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a contributing editor for The New Republic, says, “Rather than condemn him as the traitor he is, many gay activists have rushed to his defense, portraying him as a courageous whistleblower who brought American abuses to light. By arguing that Manning is not only a victim of the military but also a hero, these activists unwittingly confirm the claim that gay people are unfit to serve in the armed forces.”
It is believed that Manning, who had a security clearance, leaked classified information to Julian Assange because he was upset with the pace of military acceptance of homosexuality.
The Pentagon gay pride event shows how far the acceptance has come. It opened with President Obama and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta giving “LGBT pride month” video messages. LGBT refers to the sexual categories of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered. The panel featured Sue Fulton, a West Point graduate and a Member of the Board of Visitors at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Gordon Tanner, principal deputy general counsel for the Air Force, and Marine Corps Capt. Matthew Phelps.
Tanner said that he had a “laundry list of all the civilian benefits that we now are working on getting” for the LGBT “community.”
The open display of DoD pride in the homosexual lifestyle follows the spectacle of invited guests of President Obama at the White House gay pride event making obscene gestures at portraits of conservative President Ronald Reagan. Media were quick to quote White House spokesman Shin Inouye as saying, “Behavior like this doesn’t belong anywhere, least of all in the White House.”
This is the same Inouye who Bradley Manning claimed was his contact in the White House as he was agitating for gay rights from within the Armed Forces. Inouye is quick to defend the White House but has remained silent about his apparent link to Bradley Manning. He did not return our telephone call.
Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was passed by Congress in a lame duck session and three weeks later signed into law by Obama on December 22, 2010. It was all done in a hurry, before the full ramifications of the WikiLeaks treason case and Manning’s role in it were known. At this point, it cannot be said with certainty that Manning did not have other gay collaborators in the ranks of the Obama Administration.
It is a fact, however, that Manning had been arrested before the repeal, at a time when homosexuality was considered a security risk. “It’s interesting to me that this individual (Manning) was able to get his security clearance even while homosexuality was a court-martial offense” said Chaplain (Col.) Ron Crews, USAR retired, the executive director for the Chaplain Alliance for Religious Liberty. “If he was known to have been engaged in homosexual activity, that should have been a red flag for his security clearance in those days.”
Manning was indeed out of the closet, had advertised his gay rights activism on Facebook, and had even marched in gay pride parades. But military officials apparently looked the other way.
Our questions include: “Was Manning a pawn of high-level officials in the Obama White House? Who protected him? And why?”
Crews, one of the few people examining how the new policy is being implemented, is also concerned about media coverage suggesting that homosexuality in the military is being widely accepted.
“As gays serve openly, chaplains report few problems” is the headline over an Associated Press story by David Crary appearing on Thursday in papers across the country.
Crews countered that this is the case because chaplains expressing concern about the new policy “have been ordered by their commanders not to speak to the press.” He says, “As long as you’re in favor of the repeal and the current DoD policy, you can speak to the press.”
“I don’t think we are getting the full story yet,” he added.
That also seems to be the case with the Bradley Manning-Shin Inouye connection. But like so many other Obama scandals, the media are not anxious to get to the bottom of this one.
Cliff Kincaid is the Director of the AIM Center for Investigative Journalism and can be contacted at [email protected].