Pvt. Bradley Manning — who made media waves during his federal trial by announcing he’d rather be called Chelsea — has penned a Thanksgiving thank-you in Time in part to Martin Luther King Jr., citing the civil rights leader’s pioneering break-through in social justice as a source of personal inspiration.
Pvt. Manning, who insists that he’s now a woman, despite biology that says otherwise, wrote from his 35-year sentence at Fort Leavenworth that that he’s hoping soon to undergo hormone therapy. But in the meanwhile, he still has much to appreciate.
“I’m thankful for people who, even surrounded by millions of Americans eating turkey during regularly scheduled commercial breaks in the Green Bay and Detroit football bame … dare to ask probing, even dangerous questions,”Pvt. Manning wrote.
And speaking of MLK’s fight for striking sanitation workers in Tennessee, he added: “I’m thankful that one day … we can live together on this tiny ‘pale blue dot’ of a planet and stop looking inward, at each other, but rather outward, into the space beyond this planet and the future of all of humanity.”
Pvt. Manning, a former Army intelligence analyst, is serving time for unlawfully releasing over 700,000 documents deemed sensitive to WikiLeaks, exposing embarrassing and classified details about America’s military operations. He was acquitted of his most serious charge, aiding the enemy.
Shortly after his arrest and incarceration, Pvt. Manning announced through his attorney that he was actually a woman trapped in a man’s body and that media outlets and others refer to him as a her, and by the new name of Chelsea. Some media outlets — most notably, The Associated Press — complied.