Chelsea Manning, after suicide attempt: 'Your incredible love and support is lifting my spirits.'

Freedom of the Press Foundation’ table at  2016 HopeX. Photo: Yan Zhu
Imprisoned whistleblower Chelsea Manning is suffering from severe mental health challenges in prison, directly related to her treatment in prison. She isn't getting the care she needs, and she recently tried to take her own life.

Chelsea is a transgender woman who, despite her gender identity being acknowledged by the world, is forced by the U.S. to serve out her sentence in an all-male maximum security prison. To be a woman imprisoned among men is a most gendered form of cruel and unusual punishment, but America's hatred and misunderstanding of trans people allows this to be the norm.

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Chelsea Manning threatened with 'indefinite solitary confinement' for expired toothpaste and asking for a lawyer

The infractions she's charged with are so minor, it's hard to believe.

How you can contribute to whistleblower Chelsea Manning's legal defense fund

Chelsea Manning's extraordinary act of whistleblowing continues to enrich journalism, the public, and the historic record to this day. Chelsea is currently appealing her unjust conviction and 35-year jail sentence under the Espionage Act, but her legal team is deeply in debt. Freedom of the Press Foundation is helping to raise money for her appeal by offering a way for people to donate to her legal defense here.

Manning changes legal name to Chelsea

Image: Reuters.

The soldier convicted of leaking classified military and diplomatic records to Wikileaks has legally changed her name to Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. Read the rest

Report: Transgender people serve in US military at a rate double the general population

Amid much talk of Chelsea Manning's transitional status, this interesting factoid shared by Boing Boing pal Andrea James: a Williams Institute study says trans people serve in the US military at rates double that of the general population. Despite the math, "they nonetheless face discrimination during and after service." Read the rest

Manning’s gender hell: Shades of gray in a black-and-white world

We asked writer, film director, Boing Boing contributor, and transgender educator and activist Andrea James what she thought about the media confusion following Private Manning's gender transition revelation. Below, Andrea's thoughts.

How to send mail to Chelsea Manning, if you are so inclined

The Army uses this name and address: Bradley E. Manning, 89289, 1300 N. Warehouse Road, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, 66027-2304. (via Nathan Fuller) Read the rest

CNN and NPR can't be bothered to address Manning as female (UPDATED)

[UPDATE BELOW]. A reader who works at CNN shares "the guidance the news folks are following" on how to refer to Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning--the transgender soldier who announced to the world she wished to be publicly seen as female one day after receiving a 35 year prison sentence for leaking secret US government documents to Wikileaks.

"Manning hasn't taken any steps yet toward gender transition so use masculine pronouns ('he' and 'him')," the internal guidance reads.

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Chelsea Manning's statement on sentencing

After Army judge Colonel Denise Lind announced the 35-year sentence for Bradley Manning on Wednesday, defense attorney David Coombs read a statement from the soldier that will be part of a pardon request to be submitted to President Barack Obama. That statement follows, below.

Speaking at a press conference after the sentencing Wednesday, Coombs also described Pfc. Manning's reaction as the sentence was announced. Coombs spoke about how he and his colleagues on the defense team were crying. Manning turned to them and said, “It’s okay. It’s alright. I know you did your best. I’m going to be okay. I’m going to get through this.”

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Opinion: History will pardon Manning, even if Obama doesn't

Was the "draconian sentence" delivered in Pfc. Manning's case simply a matter of deterrence, asks John Cassidy at the New Yorker? "From the beginning, the Pentagon has treated Manning extremely harshly, holding him in solitary confinement for almost a year and then accusing him of aiding the enemy—a charge that carries the death penalty...It certainly looked like an instance of powerful institutions and powerful people punishing a lowly private for revealing things that they would rather have kept hidden." Read the rest

What is the point of Manning's 35-year sentence?

A deterrent, writes Amy Davidson. "A frightening, crippling sentence was the only way to make sure that no one leaked again, ever. What it seems likely to do is chill necessary whistle-blowing and push leakers to extremes. The lesson that Edward Snowden, the N.S.A. leaker, seems to have drawn from the prosecutions of Manning and others is that, if you have something you think people should know, take as many files as you can and leave the country." [The New Yorker] Read the rest

Ecuador may criminalize the publication of classified government documents

In Ecuador, the nation's head of intelligence agency "has asked the legislature to draft a bill that would outlaw the publication of classified documents, amid growing concerns over a government clampdown on the media," writes Rosie Gray at Buzzfeed. The South American country has been in the news recently for providing shelter to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange at its embassy in London, and for offering a travel document to NSA leaker Edward Snowden. Read the rest

Pfc. Manning's gender transition could set a precedent for US military

At HuffPo, Matt Sledge writes, "Chelsea Manning's lack of access to hormone therapy in military prison could spark a lawsuit and potentially set a military-wide precedent for transgender servicemembers." The military's Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy ended in 2011, but the Army continues to ban transgender soldiers as "administratively unfit." As Sledge writes, "The official Army regulation uses medically outdated terminology referring to "transvestism, voyeurism, other paraphilias, or factitious disorders, psychosexual conditions, transsexual, (or) gender identity disorder." Read the rest

New York Times struggles to figure out how to address Manning as female

"An article on The Times’s Web site on Thursday morning on the gender issue continued to use the masculine pronoun and courtesy title. That, said the associate managing editor Philip B. Corbett, will evolve over time." How much time does a New York Times editor need to write the word "she" or "her"? Read the rest

Pfc. Manning transitions gender: 'I am Chelsea.'

A self-portrait snapshot Bradley Manning took, and emailed to his supervisor in the Army in April, 2010, prior to leaking government documents to Wikileaks.

One day after being sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking secret government files to Wikileaks, Pfc. Bradley Manning today announced via NBC TODAY the decision to live life as a woman.

We first wrote about this aspect of Manning's story in 2010, after realizing that a series of chat logs circulating on the internet--which we'd published without understanding the subtle references within--spoke to Manning's desire to transition. Read the rest

What America means, the Bradley Manning edition

Quinn Norton's long essay in Medium called Bradley Manning and the Two Americas that investigates the question of American power in the age of Bradley Manning and his legal martyrdom. It's a very good piece, and it lays out the collision of the idea of America as an imperial bureaucracy and America as a revolutionary democratic experiment, and shows how that collision has been in play through leaks since Ellsberg. Read the rest

Bradley Manning sentenced to 35 years in prison

In a courtroom at Fort Meade today, Judge Army. Col. Denise Lind delivered the sentence in the trial of Bradley Manning: 35 years in a military prison, less 1,294 days for time served, and a 112-day credit for enduring "unlawful pretrial punishment," when he was held for 9 months at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, VA. During that stay, Manning was confined alone for more than 23 hours each day in an 8-by-6 foot cell.

The 25-year-old former intelligence analyst was convicted of charges related to sharing more than 700,000 secret government documents with Julian Assange and Wikileaks. The transparency group published those documents online, and shared them with various news organizations.

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