Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Chelsea Manning, ‘Alt-Right’ Hero?

With Chelsea Manning released from military prison this week, “alt-right” activist Richard Spencer reminded his followers on Twitter that he has long been a Manning supporter of sorts — seeing her as an anti-government icon.

“Manning was heroically brave. She risked her life to oppose and expose a system she viewed as evil,” Spencer wrote in a January blog post on his website He reposted the article this week.

“The system Manning opposed hates us,” he went on. “Manning thus contributed to the de-legitimization of the American empire, just as she was a symptom of it.”

Manning was known as Bradley Manning in 2010 when she was arrested and accused of sending archives of military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks. After her trial in 2013, Manning announced she was a transgender woman and changed her name to Chelsea.

Spencer’s support may seem unlikely given that many conservative writers made a habit of ridiculing Manning, particularly because she is transgender. For example, The Blaze’s Matt Walsh wrote on Twitter in January: “So, if I’m understanding this correctly, a man is allowed to commit treason so long as he pretends to be a woman afterwards?”

Email Sam Kestenbaum at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @skestenbaum

A message from our editor-in-chief Jodi Rudoren

We're building on 127 years of independent journalism to help you develop deeper connections to what it means to be Jewish today.

With so much at stake for the Jewish people right now — war, rising antisemitism, a high-stakes U.S. presidential election — American Jews depend on the Forward's perspective, integrity and courage.

—  Jodi Rudoren, Editor-in-Chief 

Join our mission to tell the Jewish story fully and fairly.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.