Bradley Manning was found guilty of 21 of the 22 charges against him, and he faced a staggering 136 years in jail during the sentencing phase of his trial for leaking US government secrets to WikiLeaks. Manning was found guilty; during sentencing, he was given 35 years in the United States Disciplinary Barracks, a maximum-security military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. However, it seems like Manning is using this new station in life to change his situation in a very drastic manner. Bradley Manning announced on NBC’s Today Show that he’ll now be called Chelsea Manning and wishes to have a sex change.
“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” said the 25-year-old soldier, who will serve his sentence in the Army’s custody before being dishonorably discharged. “I am Chelsea Manning, I am a female. Given the way I feel and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I also request that starting today you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun.”
When questioned further, Manning’s lawyer David Coombs said: “I don’t know about the sex reassignment surgery… Chelsea hasn’t indicated that that would be her desire, but as far as the hormone therapy, yes. I’m hoping Fort Leavenworth would do the right thing and provide that.” He added, “I think the ultimate goal is to be comfortable in her skin and to be the person that she’s never had the opportunity to be.”
I don’t want to cast aspersions on the character of someone who leaked classified information to Julian Assange, since that person doesn’t have a ton of character to begin with for associating with WikiLeaks, but this whole thing smells like a ruse to me. He’s trying to get something out of this, be it special treatment or sympathy or better jail lodgings. I don’t trust his motivation to make a statement to the press about this at this time. It just doesn’t feel right.
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