Pentagon is weighing the option to transfer Chelsea Manning to a civilian prison in order for her to get treatment for gender disorder.
Manning, born Bradley Edward Manning, is a soldier who was convicted of violating the Espionage Act. Manning, who was an intelligence analyst for an army unit in Iraq, leaked classified information to WikiLeaks in 2010. She was arrested on May 2010, and was charged with 22 offenses.
According to Read Adm. John F. Kirby, the spokesman for the Pentagon, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel approved a request from the Army to assess potential treatments for inmates who are diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Chelsea Manning, who is housed in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, may be transferred to a federal prison.
Manning entered the Army as Bradley, but has since then been diagnosed with gender dysphoria – the sense of being a woman in a man’s body. The transfer would allow Manning to decide if she wants to be completely transformed into a woman. However, transgender people are not permitted to serve in the military.
The request for transfer now poses a problem for the department. The military said that they do not have the medical expertise to offer treatment for Manning’s condition. She also cannot be discharged from military service until she serves her 35-year prison sentence.
Manning’s lawyer, David Coombs, said that moving to a civilian prison would be a risk for his client’s safety. He 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.”
Kirby said that the Pentagon has not made a decision regarding the matter. However, they will make sure that whatever decision they make will accommodate Manning’s medical needs, as well as make sure that she remains in prison.
Manning openly stated that she wanted to change her name to Chelsea and live as a woman after she was convicted.
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