Bradley Manning Says He Wants to Live as a Woman

Posted at: 08/22/2013 10:32 AM
Updated at: 08/22/2013 12:26 PM

FORT MEADE, Md. (AP) - An attorney for Bradley Manning tells NBC's "Today" show that he hopes officials at the military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas will honor Manning's request for hormone treatment. If not, the lawyer says, he will do everything in his power to make it happen.

Manning says in a statement that he wants to live as a woman named Chelsea, and begin hormone treatment as soon as possible.

But the Army says it doesn't provide the treatment, or sex-reassignment surgery. A spokesman says inmates are treated as soldiers, and are given access to mental health professionals.

At Leavenworth, a spokesman says there's never been a case similar to Manning's, and that the soldier would need to petition for a transfer to a federal prison to receive hormone treatment.

A former Army prosecutor says he doubts the military would voluntarily move Manning to a civilian prison, but that the transfer could be ordered by a judge. And Greg Rinckey says if Manning dressed as a woman, he might have to be segregated from the general population. As for the hormone treatment, he says the military's view is, "You enlisted as a male, you're a male, you're going to be incarcerated as a male."

Manning's struggle with gender identity disorder was a key part of his defense at his court-martial, where he was sentenced yesterday to 35 years for providing secret documents to WikiLeaks.

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