The spy formerly known as Bradley Manning is now filing a lawsuit against Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel and the Defense Department accusing them of denying Manning “access to medically necessary treatment.” Manning wants to have longer hair, use cosmetics, and receive hormone treatment “in order to express her female gender,” since Manning demanded to be viewed as female and called Chelsea the day after being sentenced for a conviction of espionage in August 2013.
The spy formerly known as Bradley Manning said in the lawsuit that Manning “brings this action to compel defendants [Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and the federal government] to treat her serious medical needs consistent with their obligation under the Constitution.” Manning’s attorneys insist that if Manning is denied, Manning will “will suffer continued pain, depression and anxiety and is at an extremely high risk of self-castration and suicidality.”
Last April a Kansas judge ruled that the spy formerly known as Bradley Manning could be called Chelsea Elizabeth Manning. Manning was convicted in 2013 of stealing 750,000 pages of documents and videos and passing them to WikiLeaks, the biggest leak of classified material in American history. Found guilty on 20 of 22 charges, Manning insisted that hormone therapy was necessary. Manning now says:
I requested that the military provide me with a treatment plan consistent with the recognized professional standards of care for trans [gender] health. They quickly evaluated me and informed me that they came up with a proposed treatment plan. However, I have not yet seen their treatment plan, and in over eight months, I have not received any response as to whether the plan will be approved or disapproved, or whether it follows the guidelines of qualified health professionals.
The spy formerly known as Bradley Manning claims that doctors offered a diagnosis in 2010 of gender dysphoria. Manning’s attorneys say that gender dysphoria is “the medical diagnosis given to individuals whose gender identity– their innate sense of being male or female– differs from the sex they were assigned at birth, causing clinically significant distress.”
Last May, Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby in May asserted, “No decision to transfer Pvt. Manning to a civilian detention facility has been made and any such decision will, of course, properly balance the soldier’s medical needs with our obligation to ensure she remains behind bars.”