Wednesday, January 18, 2017

General Jerry is no gentleman

Jerry Boykin
Tuesday evening retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin, now executive vice president of Family Research Council, was in a steam over President Obama's pardon of Chelsea Manning. In summary by FRC:
President Obama announced today that he will commute most of the remaining prison sentence of Bradley Manning, the national security leaker, whose espionage put Americans at risk, and who then demanded that the U.S. Army not just recognize, but finance his gender transition.
Boykin's employer is designated a hate group for good cause. Boykin is determined to ensure that FRC's status as a hate group is maintained in perpetuity. For starters it is Chelsea Manning. Ms. Manning has legally changed her name to reflect her female gender. Even if she had not, it is not necessary for Jerry Boykin to affirm that he is a Christianist schmuck at every opportunity to do so. Even the U.S. Army Court of Appeals has ordered the use of female or gender neutral pronouns. Furthermore, the fact that Manning has been approved for a medical treatment that Boykin disapproves of has absolutely nothing to do with the commutation of her sentence.

Regardless of her criminality, Manning deserves appropriate medical care. Civilizations are judged on their compassion for prisoners. Boykin sees an America that looks a great deal like Iran under a Christian version of sharia law. That is offensive to those of us who believe that the Constitution's promise of a secular society should be realized.

I have some real concerns about what Manning did. I don't want anyone taking it upon themselves to leak classified material. It  wasn't Manning's right to declassify information. Moreover, she was not convicted for being transgender. However, she was not an agent of a foreign power, none of the documents were classified Top Secret and she did not profit from her ill-advised actions. She has been  in prison for seven years under terrible conditions for someone who is transgender. Perhaps that is enough.

Ultimately I know that President Obama is very careful in decision making. I trust his judgment.

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