News / USA

Convicted WikiLeaker Manning Wants to Live as a Woman

U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier convicted of giving classified state documents to WikiLeaks, is pictured dressed as a woman in this 2010 photograph obtained on August 14, 2013.
U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier convicted of giving classified state documents to WikiLeaks, is pictured dressed as a woman in this 2010 photograph obtained on August 14, 2013.
Reuters
Bradley Manning says wants to live as woman named Chelsea. Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier sentenced to 35 years in military prison for the biggest breach of classified documents in the nation's history, said on Thursday he is female and wants to live as a woman named Chelsea.
 
Manning, 25, launched an unprecedented bid to get female hormone treatment in a military prison a day after he was sentenced for leaking documents to the WikiLeaks website.
 
“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,” Manning said in the statement read by anchorwoman Savannah Guthrie on NBC News' “Today” show.
 
During the sentencing phase of Manning's court-martial for leaking more than 700,000 secret documents, defense attorneys pointed out that the soldier suffered from gender identity disorder. A psychologist testified Manning had a difficult time adjusting to the “hypermasculine environment” of a combat zone.
 
Manning said in the statement that he wished to begin receiving hormone therapy while serving his sentence in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
 
A spokeswoman said the Army did not provide hormone therapy or gender-reassignment surgery, but that military inmates have access to mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers and behavioral science specialists.
 
“Given the way that I feel and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible,” Manning said in the statement. “I also request that starting today you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun.”
 
Manning's lawyer David Coombs said on the TV program he expected his client to get a pardon from U.S. President Barack Obama. Manning, who was convicted last month at Fort Meade, Maryland, on 20 charges, including espionage and theft, could be eligible for parole in seven years.
 
During the trial, Coombs had argued that Manning had been increasingly isolated and under intense stress when he leaked the files, and that his superiors had ignored warning signs.
 
Coombs said his client was not seeking gender-reassignment surgery, but he would press Fort Leavenworth to provide hormone therapy for Manning.
 
“I'm hoping that Fort Leavenworth will do the right thing and provide that. If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I'm going to do everything in my power to make sure that they are forced  to do so,” Coombs said.
 
'Comfortable in her Skin'
 
Asked if Manning wanted to be sent to a women's prison, Coombs said no.
 
“I think the ultimate goal is to be comfortable in her skin and to be the person that she's never had an opportunity to be,” he said.
 
Coombs said he was not worried about Manning's safety in a military prison since inmates there were first-time offenders who wanted to complete their sentences and get out.
 
Experts generally view military prisons as safer than civilian prisons since the inmates are accustomed to hierarchy and discipline.
 
Manning had not wanted his sexual identity issues to become public, but they did after his arrest in 2010, Coombs said.
 
“Now that it is [public], unfortunately you have to deal with it in a public manner,” he said.
 
A psychiatrist, Navy Reserve Captain David Moulton, testified during Manning's trial that the soldier suffered from gender dysphoria, or wanting to be the opposite sex, as well as narcissism and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
 
Geoffrey Corn, a military law expert at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, called Manning's bid for hormone treatment the first of its kind for the military. Openly gay members were barred from serving until the Pentagon's “don't ask, don't tell” policy was repealed in 2011.
 
“We don't have any precedent for the application of military medical care for elective gender reassignment therapy,” he said.
 
Corn was skeptical that Manning would get approval for hormone therapy since federal courts have traditionally given the military deference for its life and activities.
 
“I don't see it happening,” he said.
 
Chase Stangio, staff attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union's Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, said in a statement that the Army's saying it did not provide hormone therapy raised “serious constitutional issues.”
 
Courts have consistently found that denying medical care for gender dysphoria to prisoners based on blanket exclusions violates the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution, which bars cruel and unusual punishment, Stangio said.

You May Like

Multimedia Obama Defends Immigration Action

Obama says with his executive action on immigration, enforcement resources will be focused on 'felons, not families; criminals, not children' More

US-Led Airstrikes in Syria Kill Over 900: Monitoring Group

British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the toll includes more than 50 civilians, five of them women and eight of them children More

Report: Obama Broadens US Combat Role in Afghanistan

The New York Times says resident Barack Obama has signed a classified order extending the role of US troops in Afghanistan for another year More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: GH1618 from: USA
August 23, 2013 1:07 PM
Pvt. Manning seems to imagine that he is in control of events, although he has not been for some time. The current phase of his life, as a military prisoner, will not be over for several years at least. He would be better off if he would accept that fact and try to be a model prisoner so that he can qualify for an early parole date. Then he will be able to transition to the next phase of his life.


by: scallywag from: nyc
August 22, 2013 5:43 PM
Manning is a classic example of what we are not, from the point of view of the dominant paradigm. once exposed as a traitor, it is natural for the news to highlight all the possible ways in which he represents The Other. trans-sexuality is — again, for the point of view of the dominant paradigm — tailor-made to fit that archetype, and so it is destined to receive plenty of coverage. one has to expect that coverage of him will cast him as the anti-example, freak narcissist who deserves all he has coming to him....

In Response

by: PragueGuy from: Prague
August 23, 2013 7:23 AM
The reason that Manning desires to live the next 35 years as a woman is very simple: He would rather have a cell mate named Betty-Sue than to get doodled by a cell mate named Big-Bubba. Genius Brad, pure genius!

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid