Chelsea Manning, the former Army intelligence officer serving 35 years in Fort Leavenworth, is on President Obama’s short list to have her sentence commuted, NBC News is reporting.
In 2010, Manning pleaded guilty to handing over 700,000 military files and diplomatic cables to Wikileaks, and was sentenced to 35 years in prison.
“I’m sorry,” Manning said at the time. “I’m sorry that my actions hurt people. I’m sorry that they hurt the United States. I understand that I must pay the price for my decisions and actions.”
During the government’s investigation it was revealed she was experiencing gender dysphoria. Since Manning’s conviction, she has attempted suicide twice and went on a hunger strike to demand assistance with her transition.
The Army approved hormone therapy for Manning, but she is not allowed to grow her hair out more than two inches, as “it would pose a significant security risk.”
In a statement, Manning wrote:
I need help and I am still not getting it. I am living through a cycle of anxiety, anger, hopelessness, loss, and depression. I cannot focus. I cannot sleep. I attempted to take my own life. When the [United States Disciplinary Barracks] placed me in solitary confinement as punishment for the attempted suicide, I tried it again because the feeling of hopelessness was so immense.
This has served as a reminder to me that any lack of treatment can kill me, so I must keep fighting a battle that I wish every day would just end
In September, it was reported the military gave Manning permission to consult with doctors regarding the possibility of gender confirmation surgery.
Manning’s aunt Dorothy told NBC News “I have more hope right now than I have the entire time since she was sentenced.” She added that President Obama commuting Chelsea’s sentence, “is the last hope for a while.”