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Chelsea Manning to Take a More Active Role in Her Case During Appeal

Artist sketch of how Chelsea Manning sees herself as a trans woman

During her trial, the only time the public heard from Chelsea Manning was when she made statements in court. But according to Emma Cape, a lead organizer for the Chelsea Manning Support Network, Manning will be taking a “somewhat more active role” in the case during appeal.

Cape, along with Manning’s new lawyers and whistleblowers who support Manning, spoke at an event at Georgetown Law Center on April 13. She reported that Manning has provided feedback on the work of the Support Network and communicated how she would like some of the organization’s messaging to be. She has also expressed interest in publicly sharing her thoughts on freedom of information, government transparency and restrictions on press access.

Cape also says that the military continues to deny Manning medical treatment for gender dysphoria, with which Manning has been diagnosed. They refuse to allow her to have hormone therapy and are forcing her legal team to exhaust all administrative and legal remedies before approving or denying her request.

Unfortunately for Manning, Cape also informed supporters at the event that President Barack Obama’s administration has made the decision to not respond to a request for a presidential pardon until the appeals process is entirely exhausted.

It will be possible for Manning to take a more public role now because the appeal is restricted to what is in the trial record, and possibility of military prosecutors using her statements against her is far more diminished.

Yesterday, a general court martial convening authority, Maj. General Jeffrey Buchanan, approved a military judge’s verdict in Manning’s case, findings and her sentence of thirty-five years in military prison at Fort Leavenworth in Kansas. Buchanan also approved the record of trial, which means Manning’s appeal can now officially proceed.

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Jane Hamsher

Jane Hamsher

Jane is the founder of Her work has also appeared on the Huffington Post, Alternet and The American Prospect. She’s the author of the best selling book Killer Instinct and has produced such films Natural Born Killers and Permanent Midnight. She lives in Washington DC.
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