In breaking news, defense attorney David Coombs has shared a statement announcing Bradley Manning’s gender transition to female and name change to Chelsea Manning. “As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me,” Manning says. “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.” Coombs said Manning had not wanted his sexual identity issues to become public, but they did after his arrest in 2010.
AMY GOODMAN: In breaking news after this interview was conducted yesterday, Coombs shared a new statement by Manning on The Today Show this morning. It was read on the air by NBC’s Savannah Guthrie.
SAVANNAH GUTHRIE: Let’s talk about Mr. Manning personally. And he has provided a statement that he wants us to read, and this is part of it. “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 also request that, starting today, you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun.” Why did she choose this moment to announce this?
DAVID COOMBS: Well, Chelsea didn’t want to have this be something that overshadowed the case, wanted to wait until the case was done to move forward to the next stage of her life.
AMY GOODMAN: David Coombs, attorney for Bradley Manning, now known as Chelsea Manning. She has been sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking more than 700,000 files and videos to WikiLeaks. She will serve that time at Fort Leavenworth. Under current guidelines, Chelsea Manning could be released on parole in about seven years.