Chelsea Manning Is Free

There are so many reasons lately to be cynical and forlorn; to merely check the news is to be filled with dread. But today, a reprieve. Chelsea Manning has been released from captivity, an event which was unthinkable just months ago. It will take a while for the shock and surreality of her being free rather than imprisoned to fully subside. For the noble journalists, activists, and lawyers who’ve been immersed in her ordeal from the beginning — even when it was decidedly unfashionable — it at times was impossible to foresee this day ever arriving. And yet, here it is. She’s out. She’s eating pizza. The unthinkable has become not just thinkable, but tangible reality.

That alone is reason for optimism. The unthinkable becomes thinkable. A life has been saved. Chelsea Manning never should have been imprisoned under such conditions in the first place, and those responsible for effecting her unjust confinement still have much to answer for, but the fact of her being released is cause for unbridled celebration.

Others can review her record of achievement better than I can here. What I want to simply propose is that today be a day for optimism rather than cynicism; an occasion for joy rather than sarcastic detachment, the mode of being which is so prevalent on the internet. There is always hope.

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