Chelsea Manning, formally known as Bradley Manning, was sentenced to prison for 35 years in prison on Aug. 21 for giving WikiLeaks private government documents which contained details of the United States’ war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The day after Manning was sentenced to prison, her lawyer stated that Manning identified herself as a female, and that she wants to start hormone therapy as soon as possible. She also requests that people refer to her as Chelsea and use the feminine pronoun.
According to Huffington Post, Manning said on Aug. 27, “As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me, I am Chelsea Manning. I am a female. Given the way that I feel, and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible,” but unfortunately prisons don’t administer hormone treatment to convicts.”
Manning was convicted on July 30 on 19 of the 21 contested charges in her trial, including six Espionage Act violations, for her role in the largest leak of classified information in U.S. history. The charges had maximum sentence of 90 years.
Her leaks included a video of an Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed civilians, including two Reuters journalists, 250,000 State Department diplomatic cables, and 500,000 battlefield action reports from Iraq and Afghanistan
Some call her a hero and an upstander for showing the gruesome acts the U.S. military has been doing. Others, mostly the government, have labeled her as a traitor to America. They think Manning helped al Qaeda and other terrorist groups by revealing secret documents and of U.S. military killing innocent civilians.
According to CBS News, Manning is now seeking a presidential pardon for sending classified information to WikiLeaks, which she says she did “out of a love for my country and sense of duty to others,” according to documents released Wednesday. Manning acknowledged she broke the law, adding, “I regret if my actions hurt anyone or harmed the United States.”
According to Washington Post, documents submitted in support of Manning’s petition include a letter from Amnesty International, which said the leaks exposed potential human rights violations.
According to CNN, Manning is still awaiting President Obama’s response to her plead for pardon.