Sarah Lazare – Government Witch Hunt for ‘Insider Threats’ Profiles Public Workers for Sexuality and Financial Troubles

In a witch-hunt for the “next Chelsea Manning,” the Obama administration is mass surveilling public employees for characteristics that fall under a dubious profile of the jailed whistleblower, including financial problems, family issues and, perhaps most invasively, gender dysphoria.

The discovery was made by Manning herself, who obtained a  31-page document [3] on February 16 through a freedom of information action request. Currently serving a 35-year prison sentence at a maximum-security military prison in Kansas, Manning is considered by many to be a hero for disclosing information to WikiLeaks about large-scale U.S. war crimes.

The file was compiled under Obama’s controversial “Insider Threat” program, which was initiated [4] in 2011 following Manning’s revelations – and has since been derided as a form of modern-day McCarthyism [5]. The document repeatedly mis-genders Manning, who is a transgender woman, and implies that non-normative gender identity and sexual orientation are justification for increased spying on other government employees.

“The program alleges that I am ‘disgruntled’ based on my perceived sexual orientation and gender identity, questioning my ‘self-image as a man’ while acknowledging that ‘he [sic] wanted to be an openly accepted female,’” Manning wrote [6] on Friday, reporting her findings for the Guardian. “It describes me as ‘an advocate for homosexuals openly serving’ in the military, and my concern and advocacy of queer and trans rights as being expressed ‘obsessively.’”

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