Category Archives: Freedom of Speech

We Conservatives have lost; The Liberals are coming!

We Conservatives have lost; The Liberals are coming!

Matrix movie red blue pill

What have “we” become as a nation?  Who is the “we”?  With over 80% of Americans believing in God, guns, and the Confederate flag, how come “we” as a nation have turned in such a terrible direction. Most Americans do not support Obamacare, gay marriage, removal of the Confederate flag, removal of “in God we trust”, or giving Iran the bomb.

Most of us (over 85%) believe the border should be secured with a fence, illegals deported, illegals taken off welfare, welfare in general is too large, taxes are too high, the deficit is out of control, that Obama’s birth certificate is a forgery, the military should not be decimated as it has been over the last 7 years, and the Second Amendment is a guaranteed constitutional right.

So “we the people” believe in all of the above.  But where are the “we’s”?

US map red states blue counties election
Red is Conservative voting counties.

Obama barely won the last two elections.  Basically a 51/49 split.  So the numbers don’t add up.  80+% conservative thinking Americans but 51% voted liberally.  Huh?  Doesn’t add up even for those of you with weak math skills.

I am impressed with Obama.

In 7 years he gave us “Change We Can Believe In”.  Believe him now?

Obama change we can believe in
2008 Presidential Election

In 7 years he has lead change in our country that most of us thought we’d never see in this country.  Gay marriage. National healthcare. Iran with a nuclear bomb.  Russia flying military aircraft into our airspace.  Complete decimation of our military strength and fighting ability. A border so open hundreds of thousands of illegals cross each year encouraged by our government to do.

Most conservatives think we will turn our country around.  It won’t EVER happen!

We’ve lost!

And we aren’t ever turning back.  Too many people have been deeply influenced by the liberal main stream media.  The rage right now is the removal of the Confederate Flag.  The states of Alabama and South Carolina, two deeply conservative states, have removed this flag.  Did you think you’d ever see the South cave into this sort of pressure.  I’m am extremely disappointed in those states giving in.

But in other news right now, a 32 year old white woman walking down the streets of San Fran with her dad was brutally killed by an illegal alien (hispanic) and a young white male in DC on his way to celebrate the 4th was killed by a black man who wanted the white guy’s cell phone.  Stab him 40 times on a moving subway car while other’s watched.

How many of you have cried out for these two white victims?   Looted? Destroyed buildings and cars? Even protested? How many of you have even heard of these incidents?

Where’s the media coverage?  Where’s the outrage? 85% of us should be outraged.  Instead the 15% are worried about the Confederate Flag.  Its so bad Memphis is digging up a Confederate Civil War hero, and his wife, and moving the bodies!

15% protested, looted, and destroyed a city over a black thug being killed as he was attacking a white police office when the thug was beating him up and attempting to take his gun. 15% protested, looted, and destroyed a city when police (black police mind you) killed another black thug in Baltimore.

United We Stand!

Nope, scratch that….Divided We Fall!

We are a severely divided nation.  Obama promised us change to bring us together.  He did accomplish that by bringing together Muslims, Blacks, Hispanics, and Liberals.  And he has brought closer those people who want to destroy America.

8 years ago, our government was not oppressing Christians. And no one ever thought Islam would be held in high esteem by our government.  Let an Muslim cut off the head of a lady at work, and no one cares. But there’s no way we are going to let that racist, bigot Colorado baker not make a wedding cake for a gay wedding!

And its working!  That is why I am impressed by him.  He has accomplished things that most Americans (85%) thought we would never see in this country.

Did you see where the Federal government FORCED a Colorado baker to make a wedding cake for a gay couple AGAINST his religious beliefs?

Did you see where the Federal government sent in an armed group of 200+ agents against a unarmed Nevada farmer in order for Senator Harry Reid to take the farmers land and give to the Chinese?

All true stories.  And many, many more like them that most of you have never heard about.  Why?  They are not in the evening news on the liberal main stream media.

The USA, the “United” States, that 85% of us knew and loved is gone.  It’s not coming back.  We are losing and will lose because of the influx of foreigners and the liberal agenda being brain-washed into our younger generations.

There is nothing we can do.  At least as things are today.

Congress is worthless, spineless, weak, and influenced by big money from liberal minded people.  For those of you who believe Obama is really in charge, watch the movie “The Matrix” and take the blue pill which makes you go back to the world as you know it.  The red pill opens your eyes to what the world really is.  “It is the world that has been pulled over your eyes.” The Matrix movie.

When a married couple has irreconcilable differences, differences that they are NEVER going to resolve, they get a divorce and then find another person who is more like-minded.

Liberals and Conservatives are NEVER going to reconcile their differences.

We need a divorce!

US map red states blue counties election

It would be so nice if the all the Red States could live together under laws and leadership of like-minded people. And let the Blue’s do the same.

America Is On The Same Glide Path As The Fatal Germanwings Flight

America Is On The Same Glide Path As The Fatal Germanwings Flight

Germanwing airplane plane

The pilot was locked out of the cockpit. That phrase finally revealed the full horror of the crash of Germanwings flight 9525.

Co-pilot Andreas Lubitz waited for the pilot to leave the cockpit then locked the door to prevent his re-entry. After which Lubitz, for reasons unknown and perhaps unknowable, deliberately steered the jet into a harrowing 8-minute plunge, ending in an explosive 434 mph impact with a rocky mountainside. One hundred fifty men, women and children met an immediate, unthinkably violent death.

Lubitz, in his single-minded madness, couldn’t be stopped because anyone who could change the jet’s disastrous course was locked out.

It’s hard to imagine the growing feelings of fear and helplessness that the passengers felt as the unforgiving landscape rushed up to meet them. Hard, but not impossible.

ISIS Tweet: We Are Coming to America
ISIS Tweet: We Are Coming to America

America is in very deep trouble and we feel the descent in the pits of our stomachs. We hear the shake and rattle of structures stressed beyond their limits. We don’t know where we’re going anymore, but do know it isn’t good. And above all, we feel helpless because Barack Obama has locked us out.

He locked the American people out of his decision to seize the national healthcare system.

He locked us out when we wanted to know why the IRS was attacking conservatives.

He locked us out of having a say in his decision to tear up our immigration laws and to give over a trillion dollars in benefits to those who broke those laws.

Obama locked out those who advised against premature troop withdrawals. He locked out the intelligence agencies who issued warnings about the growing threat of ISIS.

He locked out anyone who could have interfered with his release of five Taliban terror chiefs in return for one U.S. Military deserter.

And, of course, Barack Obama has now locked out Congress, the American people, and our allies as he strikes a secret deal with Iran to determine the timeline (not prevention) of their acquisition of nuclear weapons.

Was Andreas Lubitz depressed, insane, or abysmally evil when he decided to lock that cockpit door and listen to no voices other than those in his head? Did he somehow believe himself to be doing the right thing? The voice recordings from the doomed aircraft reveal that as the jet began its rapid descent, the passengers were quiet. There was probably some nervous laughter, confusion, a bit of comforting chatter with seat mates, followed by a brief period in which anxiety had not yet metastasized into terror. It was only near the end of the 8-minute plunge that everyone finally understood what was really happening. Only near the end when they began to scream.

Like those passengers, a growing number of Americans feel a helpless dread as they come to the inescapable conclusion that our nation’s decline is an act of choice rather than of chance.

The choice of one man who is in full control of our 8-year plunge. I wonder when America will begin to scream.

Dr. RICHARD S. WELLS

Obama’s Brother Speaks Out Against Obama And His Deception

Obama’s Brother Speaks Out Against Obama And His Deception

Obama with his Muslim brother, Malik, Who Egypt States is Muslim Brotherhood terrorist
Obama with his Muslim brother, Malik, Who Egypt States is Muslim Brotherhood terrorist (see story)

There’s no arguing that there is a shroud of mystery surrounding Barack Obama, as countless statements released by the president have been proven to be lies. However, Obama’s brother recently dropped a bombshell so extreme, that it may just be enough to topple the man for good.

The remarks were made during an interview between Joel Gilbert – the man who produced the film, “Dreams From My Real Father: A Story of Reds and Deception” – and Obama’s brother, Malik Obama. During a 12-minute clip that was made from the Q&A session, Malik informs the public of many truths – or mistruths – relevant to Obama.

As pointed out by Gilbert, the American people feel a bit more than deceived when it comes to the current president on account of several promises he’s broken in order to pursue personal agendas. After being asked about Obama failing to cut the deficit, support Israel, and when he lied saying “Obamacare is not a tax,” Malik’s response said it all:

“Well, the way that he’s turned and become a different person with the family is the same way that I see him behaving politically. He says one thing and then he does another. He’s not been an honest man, as far as I’m concerned, in who he is and what he says and how he treats people.”

After being asked how it felt being the eldest brother of the leader of the free world, Malik simply replied, “Disappointed… disappointed, used, used and also betrayed. In the beginning, I didn’t think that he was a schemer. His real character, his real personality, the real him, is coming out now.”

However, Malik then noted that Obama’s own family can’t stand him as they too have turned their backs on him in disgust. “I don’t understand how somebody who claims to be a relative or a brother can behave the way that he’s behaving, be so cold and ruthless, and just turn his back on the people. He said were his family,” said Malik.

Perhaps the most critical accusation comes as Malik claims that Obama has lied about everything since being in the public spotlight, including who his father was. Alleging that his father was actually his Communist mentor, Frank Marshall Davis, many think it a plausible reality.

malik obama

In fact, even Obama explained in his memoir how much time he spent with “Frank,” and how much he learned – specifically about racial issues (no surprise there).

It’s unfortunate that the sheep of this nation continue to leave their blindfolds on, but the real question stands; how many lies can you tell before all trust is lost? Beyond Malik’s claims – some of which cannot be verified – Obama has been exposed enough times with his pants down for common sense folk to see right through his deceit.

As the liberal lapdog media continues to praise him and give off the idea that the man can literally do no wrong on account of his skin tone, feeble minds continue to support all things Obama.

Straight pride fliers removed from college campus

Straight pride fliers removed from college campus

straight pride gay

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Leaders with the Student Government Association at Youngstown State University said they decided to act quickly this week when posters showed up on campus promoting “Straight Pride” week next month.

The posters contained profanity, which our station has blurred for viewers. The posters promote the event as a way of not showing the differences between students.

Campus leaders said while they believe the posters were meant more as satire, especially since no names were associated with them, they determined the flyers went too far with their message.

“When you are talking about minority activism, it is very easy that if you are in the majority to say ‘well, this sort of activism is not necessary. This sort of zeal in your activism is over the top.’ For minorities who experience discrimination, that is not the case,” Student Government Vice President Jacob Schriner-Biggs said.

After consulting with the Vice President of Student Life, it was decided to take the posters down, not necessarily because of its topic but because of the coarse language.

“We have to be careful with the whole free speech issue. But then if you actually read through it, it seemed like it went way further than a free speech issue. There were swear words and took it a little further than the average free speech should go,” Student Government President Michael Slavens said.

Once students received permission to remove the flyers, they were all down within a matter of hours. If those behind the posters can be identified, any disciplinary action will ultimately be up to university administrators.

The Student Government Association Executive Committee released a statement on the fliers, which said in part:

It has been brought to the attention of several SGA Executive Board members that “Straight Pride” posters have been hung across campus, seemingly in response to LGBTQIA efforts to promote diversity and foster a culture of acceptance on campus. Though SGA respects the free speech of all YSU students, these postings were not authorized, contained vulgar language, and, unfortunately, miss the point of minority activism.

Florida Sheriff: ‘Surrender peacefully or You can guarantee we’re going to shoot you!’

Florida Sheriff:  ‘Surrender peacefully or You can guarantee we’re going to shoot you!’

Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd responded defiantly to a reporter on Friday when he was asked if he “regrets” saying that his officers were prepared for a “gunfight” with a group of dangerous murder suspects.

“I think everybody understands the gravity of what happened and the urgency and the response that you took,” the reporter began. “Some of the comments you made last night about shooting the suspects, possibly, and the comments today about ‘ready for a gunfight’ — was that in the heat of the moment? Do you have any regret about that?”

The sheriff immediately took a stern tone in responding to the question.

Sheriff Grady Judd for President!!!

Baltimore Police used secret technology to track cellphones in thousands of case

Baltimore Police used secret technology to track cellphones in thousands of cases

Baltimore police often surveil cellphones amid US secrecy

The Baltimore Police Department has an agreement with the U.S. government to withhold certain information about secretive cellphone surveillance technology from the public and the courts.

By

The Baltimore Police Department has used an invasive and controversial cellphone tracking device thousands of times in recent years while following instructions from the FBI to withhold information about it from prosecutors and judges, a detective revealed in court testimony Wednesday.

The testimony shows for the first time how frequently city police are using a cell site simulator, more commonly known as a “stingray,” a technology that authorities have gone to great lengths to avoid disclosing.

The device mimics a cellphone tower to force phones within its range to connect. Police use it to track down stolen phones or find people.

Related:  See How This Spying Technoloyg, Stingray, works.

FBI Stingray device technology listening cell phones
FBI Stingray device

Until recently, the technology was largely unknown to the public. Privacy advocates nationwide have raised questions whether there has been proper oversight of its use.

Baltimore has emerged in recent months as a battleground for the debate. In one case last fall, a city detective said a nondisclosure agreement with federal authorities prevented him from answering questions about the device. The judge threatened to hold him in contempt if he didn’t provide information, and prosecutors withdrew the evidence.

The nondisclosure agreement, presented for the first time in court Wednesday, explicitly instructs prosecutors to drop cases if pressed on the technology, and tells them to contact the FBI if legislators or judges are asking questions.

Detective Emmanuel Cabreja, a member of the Police Department’s Advanced Technical Team, testified that police own a Hailstorm cell site simulator — the latest version of the stingray — and have used the technology 4,300 times since 2007.

Cabreja said he had used it 600 to 800 times in less than two years as a member of the unit.

Nate Wessler, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said 4,300 uses is “huge number.” He noted that most agencies have not released data.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement says its officers have used the device about 1,800 times. Police in Tallahassee say they have used it more than 250 times; police in Tacoma, Wash., 170 times.

Former U.S. Judge Brian L. Owsley, a law professor at Indiana Tech, said he was “blown away” by the Baltimore figure and the terms of the nondisclosure agreement. “That’s a significant amount of control,” he said.

Agencies have invoked the nondisclosure agreement to keep information secret. At a hearing last year, a Maryland State Police commander told state lawmakers that “Homeland Security” prevented him from discussing the technology.

Wessler said the secrecy is upending the system of checks and balances built into the criminal justice system.

“In Baltimore, they’ve been using this since 2007, and it’s only been in the last several months that defense attorneys have learned enough to start asking questions,” he said. “Our entire judicial system and constitution is set up to avoid a ‘just trust us’ system where the use of invasive surveillance gear is secret.”

Cabreja testified Wednesday during a pretrial hearing in the case of Nicholas West, 21, and Myquan Anderson, 17. West and Anderson were charged in October 2013 with armed carjacking, armed robbery, theft and other violations stemming from an attack on a man in Federal Hill.

Cabreja took what he said was a copy of the nondisclosure agreement to court. It was dated July 2011 and bore the signatures of then-Police Commissioner Frederick H. Bealefeld III and then-State’s Attorney Gregg Bernstein.

Defense attorney Joshua Insley asked Cabreja about the agreement.

“Does this document instruct you to withhold evidence from the state’s attorney and Circuit Court, even upon court order to produce?” he asked.

“Yes,” Cabreja said.

Cabreja did not comply with a defense subpoena to produce the device in court. He said he was barred from doing so by the nondisclosure agreement.

An FBI spokesman declined to comment on the technology or the document.

The signatories to the document agree that disclosing the existence of the stingray would “reveal sensitive technological capabilities possessed by the law enforcement community and may allow individuals who are the subject of investigation … to avoid detection.”

They agree that “disclosure of this information could result in the FBI’s inability to protect the public from terrorism and other criminal activity” by rendering the technology useless for investigations.

The signatories agree that if they receive a public records request or an inquiry from judges or legislators, they will notify the FBI immediately to allow “sufficient time for the FBI to intervene.”

Cabreja testified Wednesday that his unit received information about a stolen cellphone. He said detectives obtained a court order to get the phone’s general location using cellphone towers from a cellphone company.

With that information, detectives ventured out to the Waverly neighborhood with the Hailstorm. The device is portable and can be used from a moving vehicle. Cabreja likened it to a metal detector for cellphone signals.

The device forces cellphones to connect to it. In this case, it was a Verizon phone, so identifying information from every Verizon customer in the area was swept up.

Cabreja said the data was collected but “not seen.” Detectives were interested only in the target phone.
Cabreja said the device allows police to make a stronger signal emanate from the phone to help them find it.

“It, on screen, shows me directional arrows and signal strength, showing me the phone’s direction,” he testified.

The detectives traced the phone to a group home and knocked on the door. They told the woman who answered that they were conducting a general criminal investigation and asked to come inside, Cabreja said, and the woman agreed.

Seven detectives entered the home, he said. They used the Hailstorm to make the phone ring before anyone knew why they were really there.

Amid growing questions about the stingray, details of the technology have been trickling out of some jurisdictions, and it is now relatively easy to find descriptions online of what it does.

Insley, the defense attorney, called it the “worst-kept secret,” and questioned why local police continue to be gagged.

Cabreja took notes with him to court that he said came from a discussion last week in which the FBI coached him on what to say in court.

The talking points included: “Data is not retained.”
Cabreja did not refuse to answer any of Insley’s questions, but he said his answers were constrained by the nondisclosure agreement.

Defense attorneys and privacy advocates express concern about the scope of the stingray’s powers, and whether the courts are equipped to provide proper oversight of the police who use it. They argue that the use of the device amounts to a search and requires a warrant.

Baltimore police obtain court orders under the state’s “pen register” statute. Insley says that law authorizes police to capture only the numbers that are called or received by a phone, not the more detailed metadata and location information the stingray collects.

He said those orders also require a lower standard of proof than a search warrant, and judges are not aware of what they are authorizing.

“They’re basically duping these judges into signing authorizations to use stingrays,” Insley said. “If they can increase the signal strength of your phone or make it ring, they can pretty much make it do anything.”

But prosecutors say the language in the orders authorizes real-time GPS location, and Cabreja testified that police only use the stingray to find “target” phones and not to spy on the innocent.

In Maryland U.S. District Court last fall, an argument about the stingray device was cut short when the suspects took plea deals. And on Wednesday, following Cabreja’s testimony, prosecutors and defense attorneys entered into plea negotiations instead of debating the merits of the stingray further.

In cases where the stingray becomes a sticking point, Wessler said, “defense attorneys are being able to get really good deals for their clients, because the FBI is so insistent on hiding all of these details.”

“There are likely going to be a lot of defense attorneys in Baltimore who may have an opportunity to raise these issues,” Wessler said. “They are on notice now that their clients may have some arguments to make in these cases.”

Kentucky Fans Light Fires in the Street After Final Four Loss to Wisconsin

Kentucky Fans Light Fires in the Street After Final Four Loss to Wisconsin

Supreme Court may hear case on school barring American flag shirts on Cinco de Mayo

Supreme Court may hear case on school barring American flag shirts on Cinco de Mayo

Mexican American flag upside down
Montebello high school on Monday, March 27, 2006

A California school dispute that arose when students wore shirts emblazoned with the American flag on Cinco de Mayo could prompt the Supreme Court to take a new look at free-speech rules for high schools.

Ever since students protested the Vietnam War by wearing black armbands, the justices have said the 1st Amendment protects the rights of students to peacefully protest at school, so long as their actions do not lead to a “substantial disruption.”

In recent years, however, some school officials have moved to curtail political fashion statements such as wearing T-shirts with Confederate flags or anti-gay slogans. They have argued that some limits were necessary to avoid offending other students and possibly provoking violence.

On Friday, the justices met to decide on hearing a case asking whether a school official’s fear of violence justified disciplining students for wearing American flags on their shirts.

The appeal in Dariano vs. Morgan Hill Unified School District asks the justices to decide whether wearing an American flag can be curtailed as an unnecessary provocation, or instead is a right of every citizen protected by the 1st Amendment. A decision on whether they will accept the case could come as soon as Monday.

The legal battle began on May 5, 2010, at Live Oak High School south of San Jose, when several students wore shirts bearing the American flag on the Mexican holiday marking the May 5, 1862, defeat of French invaders.

Their protest came in response to an incident the year before when a group of Mexican American students unfurled a Mexican flag on the holiday and paraded around the campus, triggering tensions with white students who began chanting, “USA! USA!”

The school had seen at least 30 fights between white and Latino students, school officials said.

Upon seeing the white students wearing U.S. flags, Mexican American students called them racists and complained to Assistant Principal Miguel Rodriguez.

Fearing violence, the assistant principal told several of the white students wearing the American flag that they had to turn their shirts inside out or go home. They chose to leave.

The incident caused an uproar in the community, and Fox News channel picked up the story.

It rewards those who believe the flag is a symbol of hostility toward minorities. If they think there is a problem, then don’t hold a Cinco de Mayo celebration.
– William Becker, lawyer who sued on behalf of several parents

“This is heartbreaking to the students and parents who see the flag as a symbol of national unity,” said Los Angeles lawyer William Becker, who sued on behalf of several parents. “It rewards those who believe the flag is a symbol of hostility toward minorities. If they think there is a problem, then don’t hold a Cinco de Mayo celebration.”

He filed a free-speech suit on behalf of John and Dianna Dariano and two other families, but a federal judge in San Francisco dismissed the claim on the grounds that educators had acted to avoid violence or a disruption at school.

The 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco affirmed that decision last year. “Our role is not to second-guess the decision to have a Cinco de Mayo celebration or the precautions put in place to avoid violence,” wrote Judge Margaret McKeown. It was “reasonable for school officials to proceed as though the threat of a potentially violent disturbance was real.”

Judge Diarmuid F. O’Scannlain dissented, saying the ruling “permits the will of the mob to rule our schools.” He noted that 1st Amendment law frowns on a “heckler’s veto,” by which a speaker can be shut down not for what he says, but how others may react. He questioned how the wearing of an American flag shirt could be seen as offensive or disruptive.

Lawyers for the school district have urged the Supreme Court to turn down the case. They say all the students and even the principal have moved on from the school, and there is no need to revisit the matter.

The justices met behind closed doors Friday to go over dozens of pending appeals, including the flag case. The vast majority of appeals are rejected.

But some 1st Amendment lawyers think the flag case has a chance of winning a review because of uncertainty over how free-speech principles work in schools today.

The court has mostly steered clear of free-speech disputes at public schools in recent years, with one exception. A 5-4 ruling in 2007 upheld a principal’s disciplining of a student for holding up a banner that said “Bong Hits for Jesus” on the grounds the sign could be seen as promoting illegal drugs.

But Justices Samuel A. Alito Jr. and Anthony M. Kennedy, who were in the majority in that case, stressed that they would not go along with restricting speech “commenting on any political or social issue.”

By coincidence, the flag appeal petition came before the justices in the same week they were deciding whether a Texas group had a free-speech right to a specialty license plate bearing a Confederate battle flag. A state board refused the request on the grounds the symbol would be offensive to many, especially African Americans.

The justices sounded closely split on whether strict free-speech rules should apply to state license plates.

david.savage@latimes.com

Military Worries About Easing Transgender Ban

Military Worries About Easing Transgender Ban

Military Transgender
This image from video shows Allyson Robinson, policy director for an association of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender military personnel called Service members, Partners, and Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All, or SPARTA, during an… View Full CaptionAP

U.S. military leaders have expressed reservations about any move to lift the Pentagon’s ban on transgender people serving in the armed forces, an issue since Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s suggestion that he is open to the idea, officials say.

Carter told troops in Afghanistan that he was open-minded when asked if the Defense Department was planning to remove one of the last gender- or sexuality-based barriers to military service. But some defense officials have said they have broad concerns about the impact of such a change.

The officials spoke only on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter publicly.

Much of the opposition centers on questions of where transgender troops would be housed, what berthing they would have on ships, which bathrooms they would use and whether their presence would affect the ability of small units to work well together.

Related: Transgender Navy Seal Becomes Posterchild For Military Transgender Recruiting

Chris Beck Kristin Seal Team 6 transgender gay

There also are questions about whether the military would conduct or pay for the medical treatment and costs associated with any gender transition, as well as which physical training standards the troops would be required to meet.

The military has dealt with similar questions as it has integrated the ranks by race, gender and sexual orientation. And in many cases comparable worries have been raised, including whether the changes would hinder small units that often have to work together in remote, confined locations for long periods of time.

Related: Army Traitor Receives Transgender Treatment While in Prison, Paid By Taxpayers

Bradley Chelsea Manning Army Transgender gay
Bradley Manning, now Chelsea!

Transgender people, who believe their gender identity is different from the one they were born with — and who sometimes take hormone treatments or have surgery to change — are banned from military service. But studies and surveys estimate 15,000 transgender people serve in the active duty military and the reserves, often in secret but in many cases with the knowledge of their unit commanders or peers.

Carter, who became Pentagon chief just five weeks ago, told troops in Afghanistan last month that the key question should be: “Are they going to be excellent service members? And I don’t think anything but their suitability for service should preclude them.”

What he didn’t know at the time was that one of the troops in attendance was a transgender individual who is serving with the full knowledge of the person’s commander.

People familiar with the event would not identify the transgender service member or say if that person met or had a photograph taken with the secretary, saying it could put the person’s job in jeopardy.

That transgender service member lives in barracks for that person’s chosen gender identity, not the one listed on the troop’s identification card, said Allyson Robinson, policy director for an association of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender military personnel called Service members, Partners, and Allies for Respect and Tolerance for All, or SPARTA. Robinson said the person is “acknowledged as one of the top performers in the unit,” and is known to be a transgender individual by others in the unit.

The transgender issue has come to the fore as the military has struggled with how to deal with convicted national security leaker Chelsea Manning’s request for hormone therapy and other treatment for her gender dysphoria while she’s in prison. Manning, arrested as Bradley Manning, is the first transgender military prisoner to request such treatment, and the Army recently approved the hormone therapy, under pressure from a lawsuit.