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Lilo Schuster was in her mids, single, and looking for love. After years of bad luck with dating, she, like millions of people across the globe, started using online dating sites to meet new people. A few years ago, she received what appeared to be a promising email on the dating site Match.
The man told her that he was a U. Air Force pilot deployed to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan. He said he was a widower with an adorable daughter — the type of man and family that she'd been looking for, and most of all, he seemed very interested in Schuster. The relationship quickly intensified, and Schuster fell hard, emailing multiple times each day. He sent her poetry and page after page of emails professing his love. The man even sent her a few pictures dressed in his military uniform, and he was very handsome.
Schuster noticed that her suitor had bad grammar, but that didn't really bother her because her immigrant father had poor grammar as well. She asked to speak with him in person or via Skype, but the man said that wasn't allowed. After a few weeks, the man told her he needed some money to help his daughter go on a school trip. The money requests didn't stop there.
Shortly after the first wire transfer, the man told her that he wanted to get out of the Air Force and join some of his pilot friends in starting a private company that flies charter planes.
She was told the military wouldn't let him access his bank accounts, so he needed her help to make his dream happen. Schuster had her doubts, but said she was so scared that she might lose him that she was willing to keep wiring the money through Western Union. His office has received calls from the United States, Japan, Britain and Australia — all from women who thought they were in love with a U. Grey says many of these criminals work out of cyber cafes in west African countries such as Nigeria and Ghana.
They steal soldiers' photos from social media, create a fake backstory and profile for the photographs and then target unsuspecting women on online dating sites. The scams tend to pick up around the holidays, Grey said, so women dating online need to be careful. Grey told VOA there are several red flags to watch for when cyber scammers are looking for targets.
Grey said his office recently received a letter from the Sergeant of Arms for the "Senate Forces Command," but no such entity exists. Army logos, but that the dating profile may say the person is in the Navy. The military does not freeze members' bank accounts or credit cards and provides health care for deployed service members.
Schuster said she was encouraged to use personal email immediately rather than the site. The faster the scammer is off the dating site, the lower the chances of being caught using a fake profile, according to Schuster. Schuster turned her anger into action, and by sharing her story, she says she helped a woman in New Zealand and a fellow American in Boston discover that they were being duped.
If you suspect you're being scammed, do not send money abroad and contact local authorities or postal inspectors. They may be able to trace the emailer's IP address to stop the person from playing on women's emotions to steal their savings. Carla is VOA's Pentagon correspondent covering defense and international security issues. Home United States U. VOA Africa Listen live. VOA Newscasts Latest program. February 10, 1: The Battle for Gender Equality in Hollywood. The Day in Photos.
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Typically, if I asked for either a number or a real date, I was met with radio silence and never heard from the guy again. Still, I held out hope, and then I tried my luck in Norfolk, Virginia, while visiting my parents over Labor Day weekend. My plan was foiled, however, when Hurricane Hermine struck the coast and left me stuck at home with my family, where we all got drunk and played a full game of Monopoly.
I lost epically, in case you were wondering. So instead, I began questioning all the people I was messaging about why they had turned to online dating.
All in all, I probably spoke to about 25 different people. What struck me most was that almost all of the men that really opened up to me had their hearts broken by their girlfriends, fiancees, and wives while they were deployed. I realized how lonely they must be, and that this attempt to connect with people online was somewhat of a last resort for a lot of them … minus the guys that were just looking for nude photos, of course. Hirepurpose empowers modern veterans to discover great careers.
Here, we seek to give them a voice. Looking for a great career? It was Julian Assange —an Australian Internet activist and journalist, and the de facto editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks—who had the idea of creating what Ben Laurie called an "open-source, democratic intelligence agency".
The open-editing aspect was soon abandoned, but the site remained open for anonymous submissions. According to Daniel Domscheit-Berg , a former WikiLeaks spokesperson, part of the WikiLeaks security concept was that they did not know who their sources were. Manning told Lamo in May that she had developed a working relationship with Assange, communicating directly with him using an encrypted Internet conferencing service, but knew little about him.
WikiLeaks did not identify Manning as their source. On February 18, , WikiLeaks posted the first of the material from Manning, the diplomatic cable from the U.
State Department profiles of politicians in Iceland. Pilots mistook their cameras for weapons. The helicopters also fired on a van, targeted earlier by one helicopter, that had stopped to help wounded members of the first group. Two children in the van were wounded, and their father was killed. Pilots also engaged a building where retreating insurgents were holed up.
The Washington Post wrote that it was this video, viewed by millions, that put WikiLeaks on the map. According to Nicks, Manning emailed a superior officer after the video aired and tried to persuade her that it was the same version as the one stored on SIPRNet. Nicks writes that it seemed as though Manning wanted to be caught. Around 77, of these had been published as of May This was followed on October 22, , by , classified military reports covering the period January to December , which became known as the Iraq War logs.
Nicks writes that the publication of the former was a watershed moment, the "beginning of the information age exploding upon itself". Manning was also responsible for the " Cablegate " leak of , State Department cables, written by American embassies and consulates in countries, dated December to February WikiLeaks said it was the largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain.
The airstrike occurred on May 4, , in the village of Granai, Afghanistan, killing 86 to Afghan civilians. The video was never published; Julian Assange said in March that Daniel Domscheit-Berg had taken it with him when he left WikiLeaks and had apparently destroyed it.
On May 20, , Manning contacted Adrian Lamo , a former " grey hat " hacker convicted in of having accessed The New York Times computer network two years earlier without permission. Lamo had been profiled that day by Kevin Poulsen in Wired magazine; the story said Lamo had been involuntarily hospitalized and diagnosed with Asperger syndrome.
Lamo would hack into a system, tell the organization, then offer to fix their security, often using Poulsen as a go-between. Lamo said Manning sent him several encrypted emails on May Lamo said he later turned the emails over to the FBI without having read them. In a series of chats between May 21 and 25, Manning—using the handle "bradass87"—told Lamo that she had leaked classified material. She introduced herself as an Army intelligence analyst, and within 17 minutes, without waiting for a reply, alluded to the leaks.
Lamo replied several hours later. She added "the one below that is mine too"; the section below in the same article referred to the leak of the Baghdad airstrike "Collateral Murder" video. She told Lamo she had recognized that the messages came from an NSA database, and that seeing them had made her feel comfortable about stepping forward. Lamo asked what kind of material Manning was dealing with; Manning replied: Lamo again assured her that she was speaking in confidence.
Manning said the incident that had affected her the most was when 15 detainees had been arrested by the Iraqi Federal Police for printing anti-Iraqi literature. She was asked by the Army to find out who the "bad guys" were, and discovered that the detainees had followed what Manning said was a corruption trail within the Iraqi cabinet.
She reported this to her commanding officer, but said "he didn't want to hear any of it"; she said the officer told her to help the Iraqi police find more detainees. Manning said it made her realize, "i was actively involved in something that i was completely against She explained that "i cant separate myself from others She said she hoped the material would lead to "hopefully worldwide discussion, debates, and reforms. Part of the reason no one noticed, she said, was that staff were working 14 hours a day, seven days a week, and "people stopped caring after 3 weeks.
Shortly after the first chat with Manning, Lamo discussed the information with Chet Uber of the volunteer group Project Vigilant, which researches cybercrime , and with Timothy Webster, a friend who had worked in Army counterintelligence.
Nicks argues, on the other hand, that it was thanks to Lamo that the government had months to ameliorate any harm caused by the release of the diplomatic cables. On or around that date he also passed the story to Kevin Poulsen of Wired , and on May 27 gave him the chat logs and Manning's name under embargo. He met with the FBI again that day, at which point they told him Manning had been arrested in Iraq the day before. Poulsen and Kim Zetter broke the news of the arrest in Wired on June 6.
The most serious charge was "aiding the enemy", a capital offense, although prosecutors said they would not seek the death penalty.
While in Kuwait, Manning was placed on suicide watch after her behavior caused concern. POI status is one stop short of suicide watch, entailing checks by guards every five minutes.
Her lawyer, David Coombs , a former military attorney, said Manning was not allowed to sleep between 5 am 7 am on weekends and 8 pm, and was made to stand or sit up if she tried to.
She was required to remain visible at all times, including at night, which entailed no access to sheets, no pillow except one built into her mattress, and a blanket designed not to be shredded. The jail had 30 cells built in a U shape, and although detainees could talk to one another, they were unable to see each other.
Her lawyer said the guards behaved professionally, and had not tried to harass or embarrass Manning. She was allowed to walk for up to one hour a day, meals were taken in the cell, and she was shackled during visits. There was access to television when it was placed in the corridor, and she was allowed to keep one magazine and one book. On January 18, , after Manning had an altercation with the guards, the commander of Quantico classified her as a suicide risk.
Shortly afterwards, she was placed on suicide watch, had her clothing and eyeglasses removed, and was required to remain in her cell 24 hours a day.
The suicide watch was lifted on January 21 after a complaint from her lawyer, and the brig commander who ordered it was replaced. Her lawyer said Manning joked to the guards that, if she wanted to harm herself, she could do so with her underwear or her flip-flops.
The comment resulted in Manning being ordered to strip naked in her cell that night and sleep without clothing. On the following morning only, Manning stood naked for inspection. Following her lawyer's protest and media attention, Manning was issued a sleeping garment on or before March The detention conditions prompted national and international concern. Crowley criticized Manning's treatment and resigned two days later. In April , a panel of experts, having completed a medical and mental evaluation of Manning, ruled that she was fit to stand trial.
She was arraigned on February 23, , and declined to enter a plea. During the Article 32 hearing, the prosecution, led by Captain Ashden Fein, presented , pages of documents in evidence, including chat logs and classified material. They testified that they had found , State Department cables on a workplace computer Manning had used between November and May ; , military reports from Iraq and 91, from Afghanistan on an SD card found in her basement room in her aunt's home in Potomac, Maryland; and 10, cables on her personal MacBook Pro and storage devices that they said had not been passed to WikiLeaks because a file was corrupted.
They also recovered 14 to 15 pages of encrypted chats, in unallocated space on Manning's MacBook hard drive, between Manning and someone believed to be Julian Assange. Two of the chat handles, which used the Berlin Chaos Computer Club 's domain ccc. Johnson said there had been two attempts to delete material from the MacBook. The operating system had been re-installed in January , and on or around January 31, , an attempt had been made to erase the hard drive by doing a " zero-fill ", which involves overwriting material with zeroes.
The material was recovered after the overwrite attempts from unallocated space. Manning's lawyers argued that the government had overstated the harm the release of the documents had caused, and had overcharged Manning to force her to give evidence against Assange.
The defense also raised questions about whether Manning's confusion over her gender identity affected her behavior and decision making. The judge, Army Colonel Denise Lind, ruled in January that any sentence would be reduced by days because of the treatment Manning received at Quantico.
Prosecutors pursued a court-martial on the remaining charges. The trial began on June 3, Manning was convicted on July 30, on 17 of the 22 charges in their entirety, including five counts of espionage and theft, and an amended version of four other charges; she was acquitted of aiding the enemy. The sentencing phase began the next day. Captain Michael Worsley, a military psychologist who had treated Manning before her arrest, testified that Manning had been left isolated in the Army, trying to deal with gender-identity issues in a "hyper-masculine environment".
He said that, in leaking the material, Manning had been "acting out [a] grandiose ideation". Well, Pfc Manning was under the impression that his leaked information was going to really change how the world views the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and future wars, actually. This was an attempt to crowdsource an analysis of the war, and it was his opinion that if On August 14, Manning apologized to the court: I'm sorry that they hurt the United States.
I am sorry for the unintended consequences of my actions. When I made these decisions I believed I was going to help people, not hurt people.
At the time of my decisions I was dealing with a lot of issues. Manning's offenses carried a maximum sentence of 90 years. She was sentenced on August 21 to 35 years in prison, reduction in rank to private private E-1 or PVT , forfeiture of all pay and allowances, and a dishonorable discharge. The sentence was criticized as "unjust and unfair"  by The Guardian , and as "excessive"  by The New York Times. The request included a supporting letter from Amnesty International which said that Manning's leaks had exposed violations of human rights.
David Coombs's cover letter touched on Manning's role as a whistleblower , asking that Manning be granted a full pardon or that her sentence be reduced to time served. In April , Amnesty International posted online a letter from Manning in which she wrote, "I am now preparing for my court-martial appeal before the first appeals court.
The appeal team, with my attorneys Nancy Hollander and Vince Ward, are hoping to file our brief before the court in the next six months. We have already had success in getting the court to respect my gender identity by using feminine pronouns in the court filings she, her, etc. In November , Manning made a formal petition to President Obama to reduce her year sentence to the six years of time she had already served. In January , a Justice Department source said that Manning was on President Obama's short list for a possible commutation.
On January 26, , in her first column for The Guardian since the commutation, Manning lamented that President Obama's political opponents consistently refused to compromise, resulting in "very few permanent accomplishments" during his time in office.
As The Guardian summarized it, she saw Obama's legacy as "a warning against not being bold enough. January 26, . Manning was released from Fort Leavenworth's detention center at approximately 2 a. Central Time on May 17, On May 31, , the U. The court rejected Manning's contention that the statute is too vague to provide fair notice of the criminal nature of disclosing classified documents.
Appellant's training and experience indicate, without any doubt, she was on notice and understood the nature of the information she was disclosing and how its disclosure could negatively affect national defense. Manning, the court found, "had no First Amendment right to make the disclosures—doing so not only violated the nondisclosure agreements she signed, but also jeopardized national security.
The publication of the leaked material, particularly the diplomatic cables, attracted in-depth coverage worldwide, with several governments blocking websites that contained embarrassing details. Alan Rusbridger , editor of The Guardian , said: I've never known a story that created such mayhem that wasn't an event like a war or a terrorist attack.
In , Manning and WikiLeaks were credited in part,   along with news reporters and political analysts,  as catalysts for the Arab Spring that began in December , when waves of protesters rose up against rulers across the Middle East and North Africa, after the leaked cables exposed government corruption.
In , however, James L. Gelvin , an American scholar of Middle Eastern history, wrote: A Washington Post editorial asked why an apparently unstable Army private had been able to access and transfer sensitive material in the first place. A report written by the Department of Defense a year after the breach found that Manning's document leaks had no significant strategic impact on U.
The heavily redacted final report was not published until June , after a Freedom of Information request by investigative reporter Jason Leopold. In a statement to the Nomination Committee, the Pirate Party members said Manning and Snowden "have inspired change and encouraged public debate and policy changes that contributed to a more stable and peaceful world".
In May , Anything to Say? In September , Manning accepted the EFF Pioneer Award in recognition of her actions as a whistleblower and for her work as an advocate for government transparency and transgender rights. In an article written by Manning, she says her first public appearance as female was in February while on leave from her military duties; Manning was exhilarated to blend in as a woman.
On August 22, , the day after sentencing, Manning's attorney issued a press release to the Today show announcing that his client was a female, and asked that she be referred to by her new name of Chelsea and feminine pronouns.
Manning's statement included the following:. As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I hope that you will support me in this transition.
I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun except in official mail to the confinement facility. I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back. The news media split in its reaction to Manning's request; some organizations used the new name and pronouns, and others continued to use the former ones.
Such treatment is provided in civilian federal prisons when it is found to be medically necessary, but it is not available in military prisons.
The Pentagon policy at the time considered transgender individuals ineligible to serve. Instead, the Army kept Manning in military custody and said it would begin rudimentary gender treatment, which could include allowing her to wear female undergarments and possibly receive hormone treatments.
They notified the USDB, Hagel and other Defense Department officials that a lawsuit would be filed if they did not confirm by September 4 that treatment would be provided.
Alayne Conway told NBC News, "The Department of Defense has approved a request by Army leadership to provide required medical treatment for an inmate diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Treatment for the condition is highly individualized and generally is sequential and graduated. In September, Manning filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Washington, D.
She sued to be allowed to grow her hair longer and use cosmetics, and to receive hormone treatments "to express her female gender". On February 12, , USA Today reported that the commandant of the USDB wrote in a February 5 memo, "After carefully considering the recommendation that hormone treatment is medically appropriate and necessary, and weighing all associated safety and security risks presented, I approve adding hormone treatment to Inmate Manning's treatment plan.
Her ACLU attorney, Chase Strangio , said that the delay in approving her hormone treatment "came with a significant cost to Chelsea and her mental health". On March 5, in response to Manning's request for an order compelling the military to use pronouns that conform to her chosen gender identity, the U.
Army Court of Criminal Appeals ruled, "Reference to appellant in all future formal papers filed before this court and all future orders and decisions issued by this court shall either be neutral, e. On March 14, the digital library host Cryptome posted an unsigned public copy of a court document, filed March 10, wherein the parties to Manning's September lawsuit against Secretary of Defense Hagel agreed to stay proceedings for seven months, after which time they would address how the litigation should proceed in light of Manning's status at that time.
The document revealed that the Army was then providing Manning with weekly psychotherapy, including psychotherapy specific to gender dysphoria; cross-sex hormone therapy; female undergarments; the ability to wear prescribed cosmetics in her daily life at the USDB; and speech therapy. In April , Amnesty International posted online a letter from Manning in which she disclosed,. I finally began my prescribed regime of hormones to continue my overdue gender transition in February.
It's been such an amazing relief for my body and brain to finally come into alignment with each other. My stress and anxiety levels have tapered off quite considerably. Overall, things are beginning to move along nicely.
On September 13, , the ACLU announced that the army would be granting Manning's request for gender transition surgery , a first for a transgender inmate. In January , Manning wrote to The New York Times that although months had passed, she had still not seen a surgeon. On May 22, , Manning's lawsuit seeking a federal court to order the Defense Department to provide hormone therapy and other treatment for her gender identity condition was dismissed because, her ACLU attorney explained, "she is free".
In March , Bloomberg News reported that Manning could be visited by only those she had named before her imprisonment, and not by journalists.
She could not be photographed or give interviews on camera. Manning was not allowed to browse the web, but could consult print news and have access to new gender theory texts. In April , Amnesty International posted online a letter from Manning in which she described her daily life. I also work out a lot to stay fit, and read newspapers, magazines and books to keep up-to-date on current events around the world and learn new things.
Also that month, Cosmopolitan published the first interview with Manning in prison, conducted by mail. Cosmo reported that Manning was optimistic about recent progress but said that not being allowed to grow her hair long was "painful and awkward … I am torn up.
I get through each day okay, but at night, when I'm alone in my room, I finally burn out and crash. I just try to be myself. Manning denied being harassed by other inmates and claimed some had become confidantes. In February , Katharine Viner , editor-in-chief of Guardian US , announced that Manning had joined The Guardian as a contributing opinion writer on war, gender, and freedom of information. In April , Manning began communicating via Twitter , under the handle xychelsea,  by using a voice phone to dictate to intermediaries, who tweeted on her behalf.
On July 5, , Manning was taken to a hospital after what media sources characterized as a suicide attempt. In an article following her recovery, entitled "Moving On", Chelsea reflected on her change in identity, wishing people to see her no longer as "Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning, a US Army Soldier She used a selfie from to accompany the article.
In November , Manning disclosed that she made a second suicide attempt on October 4, , on the first night of her solitary confinement. On September 9, , Manning began a hunger strike to protest what she described as her being bullied by prison authorities and the U.
In a June 9, appearance on Good Morning America , her first interview following her release, Manning said she "accepted responsibility" for her actions, and thanked former President Obama for giving her "another chance". Bill Delahunt , acting director of the Harvard Institute of Politics , said, "Broadening the range and depth of opportunity for students to hear from and engage with experts, leaders and policy-shapers is a cornerstone of the Institute of Politics.
We welcome the breadth of thought-provoking viewpoints on race, gender, politics and the media. The scammer may also claim they want to travel to visit you, but cannot afford it unless you are able to lend them money to cover flights or other travel expenses. Sometimes the scammer will send you valuable items such as laptop computers and mobile phones, and ask you to resend them somewhere.
They will invent some reason why they need you to send the goods but this is just a way for them to cover up their criminal activity. Alternatively they may ask you to buy the goods yourself and send them somewhere. You might even be asked to accept money into your bank account and then transfer it to someone else. Warning - the above scenarios are very likely to be forms of money laundering which is a criminal offence.
Never agree to transfer money for someone else. They will tell you they need your money to cover administrative fees or taxes. Scammers may attempt to lure their victims overseas, putting you in dangerous situations that can have tragic consequences.
Regardless of how you are scammed, you could end up losing a lot of money. Online dating and romance scams cheat Australians out of millions every year. The money you send to scammers is almost always impossible to recover and, in addition, you may feel long-lasting emotional betrayal at the hands of someone you thought loved you. If you think you have been scammed, report it to the website, app, or social media site where the scammer first approached you. If you think you have provided your account details to a scammer, contact your bank or financial institution immediately.
We encourage you to report scams to the ACCC via the report a scam page. This helps us to warn people about current scams, monitor trends and disrupt scams where possible. Please include details of the scam contact you received, for example, email or screenshot.
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