Bradley Manning is in prison for treason -- and now the Obama administration wants to help him break another law: nature's. The national security leaker, whose espionage put countless Americans at risk, is demanding that the U.S. Army -- not just recognize, but finance -- his gender transition. Since 2013, when he officially changed his name to Chelsea, he's fought to put taxpayers on the hook for his transgenderism. Now, two years later, it seems the Army is more than willing to cater to the traitor's whims, including footing the bill for thousands of dollars in radical hormone therapy.
Col. Eric Nelson, Commandant of Fort Leavenworth finally caved to the convict's demands after pressure from the ACLU and others. "After carefully considering the recommendation that (hormone treatment) is medically appropriate and necessary... I approve adding (it) to Inmate Manning's treatment plan." Of course, one of the problems with that decision (and there are several) is that it violates the Defense Department's own policy, which bars funding for this kind of "treatment."
To bypass that rule, the Army seems to have found a loophole through the VA, which started paying for the drugs in 2013. Either way, Manning, a convicted criminal, will be the first Army member to receive hormone therapy at the military's expense. Not surprisingly, there's no shortage of outrage over Manning's special treatment -- from taxpayers to our troops. While thousands of honorable veterans suffer serial abandonment in VA clinics across the country, the Obama administration is rewarding an avowed traitor with expensive -- and elective -- treatment. It's a sad commentary on this administration when an act of treason entitles you to better care than most of the men and women who have honorably served this country!
Unfortunately, this is just part of the administration's broader pattern of indulging lawlessness and lawbreakers like illegal immigrants, military defectors, and turncoats. And the real tragedy is that this therapy isn't helping Manning -- it's exacerbating a profound mental health crisis. The worst thing we can do for people struggling with gender identity is to enable their disorder.
While the White House races to let Manning live out the rest of his sentence as a woman, the battle over transgenderism in the military creeps even closer. Just last December, Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James surprised everyone by announcing that she was in favor of letting cross-dressers and transgenders serve openly. "Times change," she said. "From my point of view, anyone who is capable of accomplishing the job should be able to serve."
The military can't afford to waste more time and energy on political distractions that aren't just detrimental for people in that lifestyle -- but for our military's mission at large. Even for the President, who's spent six years using the military as a mule for his social agenda, injecting this kind of gender chaos into the ranks is a step too far.
It may be Valentine's week, but there's no love lost between House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Senate Democrats. The President's party, which for years has gotten away with holding a government shutdown over Republicans' heads, may want to think twice about threatening it this time. After all of their hemming and hawing over the House's Homeland Security bill, Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and company won't have the luxury of frightening off the GOP majority from its hard line on the President's executive order on amnesty.
After kicking the debate into the new Congress, House leaders wasted no time passing a measure that would fund DHS -- with the exception of any money that would finance the President's decision to give millions of illegal immigrants permanent residency in the U.S. House and Senate Republicans are ready to play hardball on the bill -- a reality that doesn't seem to be sinking in with Senate Democrats.
With two weeks to go before the funding for Homeland Security runs out, Senate Democrats don't seem any more inclined to clear the path for a vote. And if the government shuts down, Boehner says, it will be squarely on Reid's party. "The House has done its job," he told reporters. "I want you to ask the Senate Democrats when they're gonna get off their (derrieres) and do something other than vote 'no.' ...For Senate Democrats to simply block debate on the bill that funds many of their own priorities is as senseless and undemocratic as it is. If funding for Homeland Security lapses, Washington Democrats are gonna bear the responsibility."
Asked whether he'd consider a short-term continuing resolution, or CR, to fund the agency, Boehner said, "I'm gonna start laughing. The House has passed its bill... it's real clear. It's time for Senate Democrats to get into the game, get on the bill, and if they don't like what they've done, they can amend it. Simple as that." It was a strong signal from a stronger party, who may finally be finding their stride in the big shoes of the congressional majority.
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Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.