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Pentagon OKs Manning transfer for gender treatment


WASHINGTON (AP) - In an unprecedented move, the Pentagon is trying to transfer convicted national security leaker Pvt. Chelsea Manning to a civilian prison so she can get treatment for her gender disorder, defense officials said.

Manning, formerly named Bradley, was convicted of sending classified documents to anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. The soldier has asked for hormone therapy and to be able to live as a woman.

The request was the first ever made by a transgender military inmate and set up a dilemma for the Defense Department: How to treat a soldier for a diagnosed disorder without violating long-standing military policy. Transgenders are not allowed to serve in the U.S. military and the Defense Department does not provide such treatment, but Manning can't be discharged from the service while serving his 35-year prison sentence.

Chelsea Manning Could Be Moved To Civilian Prison

Some officials have said privately that keeping the soldier in a military prison and unable to have treatment could amount to cruel and unusual punishment.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel last month gave the Army approval to try to work out a transfer plan with the Federal Bureau of Prisons, which does provide such treatment, two Pentagon officials said on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the record.

"No decision to transfer Pvt. 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 Pvt. Manning remains behind bars," Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said.

The two agencies are just starting discussions about prospects for a transfer, the two officials said.

The Army has a memorandum of agreement with the Bureau of Prisons for use of several hundred beds and has sent an average of 15 to 20 prisoners a year to civilian prisons. But circumstances are different in Manning's case. The Army normally transfers some prisoners to federal prisons after all military appeals have been exhausted and discharge from military service has been executed. Cases of national security interest are not normally approved for transfer from military custody to the federal prison system.

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 U.S. State Department documents, along with battlefield video, while working in Iraq in 2009 and 2010. An Army general later upheld the convictions, clearing the way for an appeal at the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.

After the conviction, Manning announced the desire to live as a woman and to be called Chelsea, a name change that was approved last month by a Leavenworth County District Judge and that the military did not oppose.

The soldier has been diagnosed by military doctors multiple times - including last fall after arriving at the Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, prison - with gender dysphoria, the sense of being a woman in a man's body.

By November, a military doctor there had approved a treatment plan, including hormone therapy, but it was sent higher up the chain of command for consideration, according to a complaint filed by Manning in March over the delay in getting treatment.

The plan the military was considering has not been publicly released, but Manning said in the complaint that she had specifically asked that the treatment "plan consider ... three types of treatment."

Those were "real life experience" - a regimen in which the person tries dressing and living as the sex they want to transition to (something not possible in the Leavenworth men's facility); hormone therapy, which changes some physical traits such as breast and hair growth; and sex reassignnment surgery. Manning has not been specific about possible surgery, but experts in transgender health say it can include any of a large number of procedures such as chest reconstruction, genital reconstruction and plastic surgery such as facial reconstruction.

Hagel said Sunday that the prohibition on transgender individuals serving in the armed forces "continually should be reviewed." He didn't indicate whether he believes the policy should be overturned but said "every qualified American who wants to serve our country should have an opportunity if they fit the qualifications and can do it." A transgender individual is someone who has acquired the physical characteristics of the opposite sex or presents himself or herself in a way that does not correspond with that person's sex at birth.

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Cathy May 14 2014 at 12:54 PM

I don't understand why anyone is referring to a man as her/she. Just because HE wants to be a woman, it does not make HIM one. You all are correct......we taxpayers should not have to pay for this idiot to have a "sex change". God made him male..end of story.

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1 reply
trujon37 Cathy May 14 2014 at 1:25 PM

I'm 77 today and I have never met a Real Follower of CHRIST! What a bunch haters and unhappy people on here! No wonder the world is in the shape it is!

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Charlie May 14 2014 at 12:42 PM

WHY does any prison even offer this? When his time is up turn the traitor loose and let him arrange and PAY for his treatment his self.

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sle21701 May 14 2014 at 12:41 PM

Barack Obama wants private meeting in his oval office with Pvt. Chelsea Manning ... no taping allowed...

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1 reply
B I L L sle21701 May 14 2014 at 1:00 PM

Whose bringing the cigars? Will he be wearing a blue dress??

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areyoubeingserved May 14 2014 at 12:39 PM

"This country is no longer a Christian nation."

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1 reply
notorious6 areyoubeingserved May 14 2014 at 12:52 PM

And that is a bad thing, how?

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1 reply
B I L L notorious6 May 14 2014 at 1:11 PM

It's a bad thing because it means that this is no longer the same country that your family came to begging for protection and safety from the bad guys. Think about it, would YOU exist if not for this Christian nation.
The biggest problem is that while the US being a Christian country has been a given since the beginning; there has never been a question about it. The problem is when this country is forced to make a statement, because of those like you...All hell will break loose. When that time comes, the extremeists will take over and the inquisition will begin all over again...Then those like YOU will yearn for the good old days of Christian charity.
There is an old saying, "Be careful what you wish for...You just might get it!!

PS Why not ask the Gramps, or Mommy and daddy why they chose to come to this country loaded with Christians and there churches...Did they object to Christmas celebrations when they were begging to be let in????

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Kathy Lee May 14 2014 at 12:37 PM

Lord Almighty, We've gone from Gays are not allowed, to ask don't tell, now it's hey the federal govt should pay for this. This country is getting more and more......no words come to me for it, except non printable ones. I have needed a dire, life saving surgery for over a year now and it hasn't happened for me, and I even am on disabilty and went for 5 months with out any coverage as there are "Loop Holes". On SSD with a deadly heart and lung condition, for which I did nothing wrong to have and this Jackass will probably get his "junk changed" and the american people will pay for it. UGH!

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3 replies
rockylocka May 14 2014 at 12:37 PM

What the Hell? Why is it that Vets don'tgetanything and the older people.
If people don't vote the people out of office, we as a Country are in BIG BIG TROUBLE,morethen what we are at now.

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1 reply
sun1045 rockylocka May 14 2014 at 12:39 PM

how did they get voted in in the first place............

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marin20783 May 14 2014 at 12:36 PM

I don't understand how treatment for her new found disorder should be funded by taxpayers. I'd rather see that money go to hire some temporary analysts at the Veterans Administration to process veterans claims for combat injuries. Washington is full of retired analysts who could clean up the backlog in 6 months, and would be grateful for the work. The thousands of veterans waiting for claims to be processed is a national disgrace.

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coopdabomb May 14 2014 at 12:36 PM

This country is going to hell

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1 reply
sun1045 coopdabomb May 14 2014 at 12:40 PM

Well, there's 2014 or else...

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Tom May 14 2014 at 12:34 PM

The jokes just keep getting bigger and more ridiculous. Wake up folks. This is not compassion or understanding, it is pure foolishness.

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Bob May 14 2014 at 12:32 PM

I wish the government would "keep" me as well as they "keep" prisoners. Free room & board, free food - better than I can afford. Free excercise, free entertainment, free medical. Only thing I have over them is that I am free to come and go as I please, but I need to pay my way....and the way of the prisoner. Cruel and unusual punishment? Living as a man with everything given to you except you freedom to come and go is not cruel. It is not unusual either if you were born with a P enis between your legs!

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1 reply
jaroslaw99 Bob May 14 2014 at 12:38 PM

Bob - go commit a crime and see how wonderful it is. I kinda think it isn't all that wonderful.

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1 reply
GRAMPZ jaroslaw99 May 14 2014 at 1:21 PM

Lots of freebies but no saturday nite on the town. Heaven forbid. Guess we will have to work on that.

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