It was a boneheaded move that turns out to not have been true, or at least something along those lines. San Francisco Pride Board President Lisa Williams raced to note that the announcement of Bradley Manning as grand marshal was a mistake.
This is not surprising given the anger that the announcement engendered.
According to Williams, an employee of the organization prematurely notified Private First Class Bradley Manning that he was to be the parade’s grand marshal. She stated “That was an error, and that person has been disciplined. He does not now, nor did he at that time, speak for SF Pride.”
While the committee of former grand marshals did select Manning to have that honor, the Pride Board vetoed the nomination. Williams noted that “In point of fact, less than 15 people actually cast votes for Bradley Manning. However, as an organization with a responsibility to serve the broader community, SF Pride repudiates this vote.”
Manning’s lawyers have tried to use the excuse that his time in the military under Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell resulted in his passing hundreds of thousands of documents to Wikileaks.
Given that Manning would not have been able to attend the parade, Daniel Ellsberg had offered to fill in for him. Ellsberg was a military analyst who, in 1971, leaked classified information about the Vietnam War that are now known as the Pentagon Papers.
Rainey Reitman, a member of the Bradley Manning Support Network, initially cheered the supposed selection of Manning by saying “As a longstanding Manning supporter, I’m thrilled to see our community publicly embrace his courage in disclosing classified truths about the war in Iraq and other facts, which empower the American public to promote smarter future policy.”
Of course, if she had paid attention to the news, she would have learned all about what was going on with the military.
She vented her frustration and disappointment at the revelation that Manning was not offered the position of grand marshal saying “I and many other LGBT Manning supporters are deeply disappointed by this sudden change in position on the part of the committee. “Bradley is a gay American hero who sacrificed a great deal so we could learn the truth about our government, and he was fairly elected to serve as grand marshal in the parade.”
Prior to the announcement of Manning not being the Pride grand marshal, Stephen Peters of the American Military Partners Association, stated “Manning’s blatant disregard for the safety of our service members and the security of our nation should not be praised. . .No community of such a strong and resilient people should be represented by the treacherous acts that define Bradley Manning.”