Manning’s internal conflicts, the defense lawyers argued during the trial, factored in her decision to leak the more than 250,000 diplomatic cables and other military files. Perhaps those pleas partially explain why she only received a 35-year sentence. Prosecutors were gunning for 60.
But due to current procedures at Fort Leavenworth, the Kansas facility where she will be serving her sentence, the complete gender transition she is hoping for isn’t likely to happen (at least without a legal intervention). In an interview with the Court House News Service, a Leavenworth spokesperson said, “The Army does not provide hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery for gender-identity disorder.” Manning will, however, have access to other forms of psychiatric care.
“I’m hoping Fort Leavenworth will do the right thing and provide that [treatment],” Manning’s lawyer told the Today show. “If Fort Leavenworth does not, then I’m going to do everything in my power to make sure they are forced to do so.”
And he may have the grounds to establish one. Right now, two ongoing legal proceedings about transgender treatment in prisons may pave the way.