Were I a college tasked with bringing in someone to speak to my student body about ethics, at the very bottom of my list would be a person who was convicted of betraying his own country. That's just me, though. Apparently, to the good folks at UCLA, that's considered a benefit, because they've brought in Chelsea Manning to speak on "ethics in public service," Campus Reform reports.
This is the same person who, as Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning, was convicted of six counts of espionage against his own country. Interesting choice.
The event, billed as A Conversation with Chelsea Manning, is described thusly:
As an intelligence analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense, Chelsea Manning disclosed classified documents to WikiLeaks that revealed human rights abuses and corruption connected to the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. She was convicted and sentenced to 35 years in a military prison, but released in 2017 after President Obama commuted her sentence. While in prison, Manning publicly identified as a trans woman and asserted her right to medical therapy. Now an advocate for government transparency and queer and transgender rights, Manning will speak about ethics in public service; resistance in the age of artificial intelligence; activism and protest; transgender issues; and the intersection of technology and people’s lives.
It's interesting that they make Manning sound like a hero, disclosing what bad people Americans are. Manning's actions were extremely harmful to national security and, as Kyle Smith at the National Review pointed out,
No evidence has emerged that anyone was killed because of the information Manning stole and made public. But even if Manning’s actions didn’t result in anyone’s death, that does not render them forgivable or harmless. If you set your car in neutral and let it glide down a hill toward a playground while you walked the other way, you would hardly be held blameless if the car didn’t happen to kill anyone.
Except on today's college campuses, where you would be celebrated.