Chelsea Manning's proud request for Presidential pardon

Chelsea Manning's proud request for Presidential pardon

Bradley Manning wants to be called Chelsea and start hormone therapy as soon as possible. "I am a female," she announced defiantly to the world after the military leaked a photo of her in drag. Simultaneously, she has released her request for a pardon to President Obama in which she shows absolutely no remorse for his actions. All the contrary: she's proud.

Like in the trial, Chelsea Manning claims that she sent all the secret information to Wikileaks because her country was doing terrible things in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo. Actions that couldn't be justified by the post-9/11 war against terrorism.

We consciously elected to devalue human life [...] we killed innocent civilians [...] we elected to hide behind the veil of national security and classified information in order to avoid any public accountability [...] we internally debated the definition of torture. [...] We inexplicably turned a blind eye to torture and executions by the Iraqi government. And we stomached countless other acts in the name of our war on terror.

She quoted Howard Zinn's "There is not a flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people" and then said that she believes his actions will be considered the right ones in the future, citing McCarthyism and the Japanese-American internment camps:


Our nation has had similar dark moments for the virtues of democracy - the Trail of Tears, the Dred Scott decision, McCarthyism, and the Japanese-American internment camps - to mention a few. I am confident that many of the actions since 9/11 will one day be viewed in a similar light.


Wikileaker Manning Announces: "I Am Female"

Wikileaker Manning Announces: "I Am Female"

The Army private who leaked classified state departments to Wikileaks, born Bradley Manning, has announced that she would like to be referred to as Chelsea Manning, using feminine pronouns, and wants to begin hormone therapy "as soon as possible."

Though it was widely known that Manning was transgender—her "struggles with gender identity" were used as part of her defense—today marks the first time she herself made her preferences known, through a statement her lawyer read on the Today show:

Subject: The Next Stage of My Life

I want to thank everybody who has supported me over the last three years. Throughout this long ordeal, your letters of support and encouragement have helped keep me strong. I am forever indebted to those who wrote to me, made a donation to my defense fund, or came to watch a portion of the trial. I would especially like to thank Courage to Resist and the Bradley Manning Support Network for their tireless efforts in raising awareness for my case and providing for my legal representation.

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. 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 (except in official mail to the confinement facility). I look forward to receiving letters from supporters and having the opportunity to write back.

Thank you,

Chelsea E. Manning

Manning has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for the leak, though could serve less than a third of that. Her lawyer says he hopes that Fort Leavenworth, where Manning will be held, and which doesn't provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery on-site, will do the "right thing" and help her obtain hormone therapy. (Manning, her lawyer says, doesn't want surgery.)