Valdosta Daily Times

Top News

August 23, 2013

Manning wants to live as a woman named Chelsea

FORT MEADE, Md. — Bradley Manning wants to live as a woman named Chelsea and begin hormone treatment as soon as possible, the soldier said a day after being sentenced to 35 years in prison for giving government secrets to WikiLeaks.

Manning announced the decision Thursday in a statement provided to NBC’s “Today” show.

“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,” the statement read.

The statement asked people to use the feminine pronoun when referring to Manning. It was signed Chelsea E. Manning.

Manning received the stiffest punishment ever handed out in the U.S. for leaking information to the media. With good behavior and credit for more than three years of time served, Manning could be out in as little as seven years, the soldier’s attorney David Coombs said.

Coombs told “Today” he hoped officials at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., will accommodate Manning’s request for hormone treatment. If they don’t, Coombs said he would do “everything in my power” to make it happen.

The Army said it doesn’t provide the treatment or sex-reassignment surgery.

“All inmates are considered soldiers and are treated as such with access to mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers and behavioral science noncommissioned officers,” Army spokesman George Wright said.

Many transgender people use cross-sex hormone treatments to alter their gender characteristics.

Guidelines from the Endocrine Society endorse the therapy along with monitoring for potential health risks of long-term use. For instance, high doses of the female sex hormone estrogen given to someone born male promote breast development.

Leavenworth is an all-male prison. Spokesman George Marcec said there had never been a case similar to Manning’s, and the soldier would need to petition for a transfer to a federal prison to receive hormone treatment.

As far as where Manning would be held, the prison staff has some leeway to separate them from the general population based on the security risk to themselves and others, Marcec said.

Manning has spent more than two years at a minimum-to-medium-security facility for pretrial prisoners at Leavenworth, but after sentencing, he was to be moved to military’s only maximum-security prison, which is also at Leavenworth.

Greg Rinckey, a former Army prosecutor and now a lawyer in Albany, N.Y., said he doubted the military would voluntarily move Manning to a civilian prison, but that a transfer could be ordered by a judge. He said if Manning dressed as a woman, the soldier might have to be segregated from the general population.

He also said the military was adamant about not providing hormone treatment.

“You enlisted as a male, you’re a male, you’re going to be incarcerated as a male,” he said.

Manning’s struggle with gender identity disorder — the sense of being a woman trapped in a man’s body — was key at his court-martial.

Retired Sgt. 1st Class Paul Adkins testified as a defense witness, saying in April 2010, just a month before Manning was arrested, the soldier emailed him a picture of himself in a blonde wig and lipstick with a letter titled, “My problem.”

“I don’t know what to do anymore, and the only ‘help’ that seems to be available is severe punishment and/or getting rid of me,” the email said. “All I do know, is that fear of getting caught has caused me to go to great lengths to consciously hide the problem.”

Manning’s attorney said the email was evidence the military knew of Manning’s struggles, yet allowed him to stay in Iraq as an intelligence analyst and keep his security clearance.

1
Text Only
Top News
  • Stowaway teen forces review of airport security

    A 15-year-old boy found his way onto an airport’s tarmac and climbed into a jetliner’s wheel well, then flew for five freezing hours to Hawaii — a misadventure that forced authorities to take a hard look at the security system that protects the nation’s airline fleet.

    April 22, 2014

  • South Korea Ship Sink_Rich copy.jpg Death count in ferry sinking tops 100

    One by one, coast guard officers carried the newly arrived bodies covered in white sheets from a boat to a tent on the dock of this island, the first step in identifying a sharply rising number of corpses from a South Korean ferry that sank nearly a week ago.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • AP520422034 copy.jpg Today in History for Tuesday, April 22, 2014

    Today is Tuesday, April 22, the 112th day of 2014. There are 253 days left in the year.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Commission to vote to purchase new computers

    Lowndes County commissioners discussed replacing outdated computers, a bid for an emergency bypass pump, an annexation request from the City of Hahira, a juvenile justice grant application, and an appointment to the dangerous dog board.

    April 22, 2014

  • KLVB receives Governor’s Circle Recognition Award

    Keep Lowndes/Valdosta Beautiful received the Governor’s Circle Award. These inaugural, statewide awards were presented by Gov. Nathan Deal at the State Capitol .

    April 22, 2014

  • Readers’ Forum reviews ‘The Art Forger’

     “Fascinating” is the word to describe the world of art forgery as revealed by guest reviewer Laura Hughes to Readers’ Forum.

    April 22, 2014

  • Immigration _Rich copy.jpg DHS secretary re-evaluating deportation priorities

    Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Wednesday he’s re-evaluating the Obama administration’s deportation priorities to make certain they’re focused on national security, public safety and border security, amid growing pressure from the Latino community and President Barack Obama’s fellow Democrats. 

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Rethinking Pot 420_Rich copy.jpg Public smoke-out marks pot holiday in Colorado

    Tens of thousands of revelers raised joints, pipes and vaporizer devices to the sky Sunday at a central Denver park in a defiant toast to the April 20 pot holiday, a once-underground celebration that stepped into the mainstream in the first state in the nation to legalize recreational marijuana.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Submarine Sleep Sched_Rich copy.jpg Navy OKs changes for submariners’ sleep schedules

    With no sunlight to set day apart from night on a submarine, the U.S. Navy for decades has staggered sailors’ working hours on schedules with little resemblance to life above the ocean’s surface.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • South Korea Ship Sink_Rich copy.jpg Grim work for families as more bodies discovered

    There are no names listed as relatives huddle around signboards to identify bodies from a sunken ferry. Just the slimmest of clues about mostly young lives now lost. Many favored hoodies and track pants. One girl painted her fingernails red and toenails black. Another had braces on her teeth.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

Top News
Poll

Given the amount of rain recently, what's your favorite “rain” song?

Singing in the Rain
Purple Rain
Have You Ever Seen the Rain?
November Rain
Rainy Night in Georgia
Other
     View Results