WASHINGTON, August 22 (RIA Novosti) – Bradley Manning, the US Army private sentenced this week to 35 years in prison for leaking hundreds of thousands of classified military documents, said Thursday he is a female, Chelsea Manning, and wants to be called by the new name.
“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning. I am female,” Manning said in a sworn statement read by his attorney, David Coombs, on NBC’s “Today” show.
“Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible,” Manning wrote, adding, “I hope that you will support me in this transition. I also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun.”
Manning, 25, was found guilty last month of multiple counts of espionage as well as theft and computer fraud connected to leaking volumes of classified US military documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, including war logs about US operations in Iraq and Afghanistan while he worked as an intelligence analyst in Iraq.
He was sentenced on Wednesday. It appears likely that he will serve his time at the military prison in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
“As far as the hormone therapy, yes, I’m hoping Fort Leavenworth would do the right thing and provide that. If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure that they are forced to do so,” Coombs said.
"The Army does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender identity disorder,” the Army said in a statement to the media.
Coombs said he and his client have not discussed sexual reassignment surgery, and told NBC he expects Manning to be out of prison in seven years.
"But I actually expect him to get pardoned," Coombs said. "At least that's what my hope is, that the president will in fact pardon him."