Pentagon considers options for Chelsea Manning detention

JEDDAH Wed May 14, 2014 8:42am EDT

1 of 2. U.S. Army Pfc. Bradley Manning (C) is escorted out of a courthouse during his court martial at Fort Meade in Maryland, August 20, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jose Luis Magana

JEDDAH (Reuters) - The U.S. military is considering options for the detention of a transgender soldier who is serving 35 years in prison for turning over secret files to WikiLeaks and has requested hormone therapy, including moving the private to a civilian prison, the Pentagon said on Wednesday.

The Associated Press on Wednesday reported that defense officials were trying to transfer Chelsea Manning, who seeks to live as a woman, to a civilian prison to facilitate that treatment.

"No decision to transfer Private Manning to a civilian detention facility has been made, and any such decision will, of course, properly balance the soldier's medical needs with our obligation to ensure Private Manning remains behind bars," Rear Admiral John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman, said in a statement.

Defense officials said that one option under consideration was transferring Manning to a civilian prison.

In April, a U.S. judge ruled that Manning, who had gone by the name Bradley, could legally use the name Chelsea. Manning was born as a man but identifies as a woman.

Manning is serving her sentence in all-male detention facilities at the U.S. Disciplinary Barracks at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.

Kirby, in a statement issued to reporters during a visit by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to Saudi Arabia, also said that Hagel had approved a request from the U.S. Army to assess "potential treatment options for inmates diagnosed with gender dysphoria", which refers to individuals who experience discontent with their gender.

Last year, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in prison for providing more than 700,000 documents, videos, diplomatic cables and battlefield accounts to WikiLeaks in the biggest breach of classified materials in U.S. history.

Manning has repeatedly stated her desire to live as a woman and has requested hormone replacement therapy in prison, but so far Army officials have denied those requests, and said that Manning will continue to be treated as a man despite the name change.

Manning worked as an intelligence analyst in Baghdad when she gave WikiLeaks the government material, which also included a 2007 video of a U.S. Apcache helicopter firing at suspected militants in Baghdad, killing two Reuters employees.

(Reporting by Missy Ryan; Editing by Alison Williams)

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Comments (11)
jim_in_nc wrote:
No matter how many times “news” stories push this, Manning is still biologically a male. The use of the pronoun “she” to describe him is both poor grammar and obviously agenda driven. Mental health counseling for his gender confusion is available at the facility.

He should continue his sentence at Leavenworth, just like the other prisoners. The Army is correct to leave this alone. Secretary Hagel should do likewise.

May 14, 2014 7:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
gcf1965 wrote:
Thank you jim, you are absolutely correct. It infuriates me for the PC crowd to use “she” when referring to a male. It is so ignorant. In this case, I also believe that Manning is pushing this issue for special attention and sympathy.

May 14, 2014 10:08am EDT  --  Report as abuse
BlueOkie wrote:
Too late, he should of thought of this before turning over secrets

May 14, 2014 11:35am EDT  --  Report as abuse
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