Remember Bradley Manning? Well “she” now goes by Chelsea Manning, and is getting out of prison soon. It appears that despite being convicted in a military court martial, Manning will be eligible to continue her “service” in the military. Though Manning will be an “unpaid soldier” she will still be entitled to medical care and other benefits.
It’s worth noting that court martial convictions are generally considered to be felonies if the maximum sentence is more than one year. Manning was convicted of 20 counts in their military court martial, including six counts of Espionage Act violations, computer fraud and theft. In total, she received a 35 year sentence, and has served nearly seven years at Fort Leavenworth.
Many people would tend to think being convicted on so many counts would inevitably lead to a dishonorable discharge, or at least a bad conduct discharge. However, Manning seems to have been spared this fate–perhaps because of the media coverage that ensued after she filed a “transgender rights lawsuit.”
You may recall that Chelsea Manning was formerly Bradley Manning – the former intelligence analyst stationed in Iraq who leaked 700,000 confidental military and State Department documents to WikiLeaks, along with video footage from the battlefields.
In addition to being spared from a bad conduct or dishonorable discharge, Manning was also given a sex change operation at no cost to herself; the government paid for it–which means American taxpayers paid for her reassignment surgery.
After being granted clemency, Manning said in a statement, “I can imagine surviving and living as the person who I am and can finally be in the outside world. Freedom used to be something that I dreamed of but never allowed myself to fully imagine.” Manning seems to have forgotten that they committed multiple crimes for which he was rightfully sentenced.