Convicted intelligence leaker Chelsea Manning wants to eliminate U.S. borders, close prisons, and get rid of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) if elected to be Maryland’s next senator.
Manning, the transgender female born as a biological male who announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate in Maryland this January, recently unveiled a political platform that includes plans to close prisons, get rid of U.S. borders, institute universal health care, and abolish ICE.
Manning, 30, says getting rid of the federal immigration enforcement agency is a top priority, alleging that the agency is preparing to promote “ethnic cleansing,” according to the Daily Mail.
“The rise of authoritarianism is encroaching in every aspect of life, whether it’s government or corporate or technological,” Manning told the Associated Press.
Manning is running to unseat incumbent U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD), a 74-year-old seeking a third term in the Senate after serving ten terms in the House.
Political analysts say the convicted felon turned Democrat Senate candidate is considered to be a long shot candidate in the June 26 primary to clinch the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.
“Manning is running as a protest candidate, which has a long lineage in American history, to shine light on American empire,” said Daniel Schlozman, a political science professor at Johns Hopkins University. “That’s a very different goal, with a very different campaign, than if she wanted to beat Ben Cardin.”
Although the transgender activist says he does not think of himself as a Democrat, Manning claims he will not run as an independent in the general election if the primary bid against Cardin fails.
Manning had been convicted in 2013 of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks but had his 35-year prison sentence commuted by former President Barack Obama shortly before he left office.
When Manning was released from prison, he turned to transgender rights activism and hit the speaking circuit before running for U.S. Senate. In September, Breitbart News reported that Harvard University brought on Manning as a visiting fellow at their Institute of Politics.
When former CIA Director Mike Pompeo cancelled his appearance at the school over Manning’s appointment, Harvard rescinded Manning’s fellowship.