President Obama's Commutation of Chelsea Manning's Sentence Most Likely Saved Her Life

President Obama today commuted most of Chelsea Manning’s remaining sentence for disclosing classified information about the impact of America's wars in Afghanistan and Iraq on innocent civilians. This is an important development both for government transparency and for transgender rights.  

With today’s clemency order, she will be released in May 2017 after having served seven years in prison. This isn’t a pardon. Chelsea pled guilty and will face the consequences for many of the charges against her. But the military sentenced her to 35 years in prison, a longer sentence than anyone else in U.S. history has received for disclosing information to the news media.  

Chelsea's imprisonment was made far harder by the fact that she is a woman serving a sentence in a men’s prison. For years during her incarceration, the military denied Chelsea treatment for her gender dysphoria, despite having diagnosed her with that condition soon after her arrest in 2010.  The ACLU brought suit for Chelsea back in 2014, seeking access to hormone therapy and to the clothing and grooming standards that all other female military prisoners are subject to. The litigation succeeded in getting her hormones as well as women’s undergarments. But the military continues to prohibit her from growing her hair long, though it did agree last fall to evaluate her for transition-related surgery.  

The president’s decision comes after an outpouring of support for Manning since her extraordinary sentence and the ongoing mistreatment throughout her incarceration. In December, the ACLU and over a dozen other LGBT groups sent a letter to President Obama urging him to grant clemency to Manning, and an official White House petition with the same request secured over 100,000 signatures.

President Obama’s action today most likely saved Chelsea’s life. Struggling with the challenge of being a woman in a men’s prison, Chelsea attempted suicide twice in 2016. Allowing Chelsea to start living her life as her genuine self, after having served a quite serious sentence, shows that President Obama understands the meaning of clemency.  

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Jessica Bright

oh hey Robert's a bigot capable of quoting other bigots.

Anonymous

Transexuals are mutilated gays and lesbians. I don’t care what others say but mutilating a man or woman to make them fake members of opposite sex is gay/lesbian. And gay/lesbian groups are apologists for Transexuals which is why the word T is there. They must abolish this surgical mutilation.

Finally, sex change maimings which is mutilating some1 to make them fake members of opposite sex is comparable to trying to make a man a fake animal because he thinks he is an animal trapped in a human body. Most feminists are not speaking against this. 1 would hope that feminists would oppose the mutilation that happened to Chastity Sun Bono as feminists have spoken against Female Genital Mutilation which happens in some nations. Transexuals are mutilations which no Dr. should take part in, yet most feminists are not condemning this female genital and breast mutilation as what happened to Chastity S. Bono where her healthy breasts were mutilated, dangerous hormone shots and her genitals mutilated.

Anonymous

Bradley Edward Manning endangered US security, but the ACLU & alot of media is pleading the case for a traitor because he is a transgender. I’m against sex changes for the same reason as I oppose trying to make a White person Black or viceversa because they think they were born of another race. Sex changes are a sad waste of science.

Sex changes happen because science knows how. If they knew how to change skin color, Drs. would be making the same justifications for changing color of people who think they are of other race as they now do for sex changes. it doesn’t take an expert to know that hormone shots + the maiming surgery damages the body. Transexuals have antisocial personalities.

Anonymous

You understand that people seeking gender reassignment pay for the surgery, correct? You make it sound like the doctors are spending tax payer dollars to do the surgery. Clearly you hate capitalism, and have both a lukewarm understanding of gender reassignment, and also economics.

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