Chelsea Manning’s memoir reflects on tormented childhood, gender and value of freedom of information

Listen to podcast: Radio//Here & Now

October 31, 2022

Chelsea Manning is the author of "README.txt." (Courtesy)
Chelsea Manning is the author of “README.txt.” (Courtesy)

Her story is one that could have been so many different books. One would tell the story of growing up in an increasingly violent home, where both parents struggled with alcoholism. Another would be the story of coming of age in rural Oklahoma, where gender roles are, as she says, “hard and fixed as the land,” and where Chelsea Manning knew by age four that she — assigned male at birth — wanted to wear her big sister’s clothes and makeup.

Ultimately, hers is the tale of someone who believed in truth and freedom of information — and that people deserved to know what was happening on the ground during the Iraq War. She eventually uploaded more than 700,000 classified military and diplomatic records she’d smuggled out of the country on a memory card. That data dump led to her being charged with 22 counts related to the unauthorized possession and distribution of classified material

Here & Now‘s Robin Young is joined by Manning to discuss her new book “README.txt.”

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This segment aired on October 31, 2022.

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