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Military to begin initial gender identity treatment for Chelsea Manning

Thursday, July 17, 2014
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In May Coombs had also contended that civilian prisons were not as safe as military facilities.

In a statement, he had said, “It is common knowledge that the federal prison system cannot guarantee the safety and security of Chelsea in the way that the military prison system can.”

Chelsea Manning

U.S. Army (File photo)
Pvt. Chelsea Manning

The Army sends an average of 15 to 20 prisoners a year to civilian prisons. But Manning’s appeals have not been exhausted, she’s still in the military and her case is of national security interest. Those are factors that normally could prevent a transfer.

According to a complaint filed by Manning, she asked that a treatment plan consider three types of measures: “real life experience,” a regimen in which the person tries dressing and living in the new gender; hormone therapy, which changes some physical traits such as breast and hair growth; and sex reassignment surgery. Manning has not publicly said whether she wants surgery, and the proposed plan was not released.

Manning’s treatment request was the first by a transgender military inmate, and it set up a dilemma for the department of how to treat a soldier for a diagnosed disorder without violating long-standing military policy.

The former intelligence analyst was sentenced in August for six Espionage Act violations and 14 other offenses for giving WikiLeaks more than 700,000 secret military and State Department documents, along with battlefield video, while working in Iraq in 2009 and 2010.

After the conviction, Manning announced the desire to live as a woman and legally changed her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning from Bradley Edward Manning.

Manning cannot be discharged from the service while serving her 35-year prison sentence.

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