Well, if there’s any silver lining to be drawn from Barack Obama’s commutation of the sentence of a traitor to the American people, Bradley “Chelsea” Manning, it’s that Manning is now on the hook for figuring out how to pay for his illness on his own.
Manning was serving a 35 year sentence for leaking classified info on U.S. security. Ultimately, WikiLeaks released the information to the world.
Obama may have thrown open the jailhouse door for Manning, but the Army still has some say-so in his case.
“If Pvt. Manning is discharged with a dishonorable discharge, she will lose her entitlement to [military] benefits, including gender-transition care at [military] medical treatment facilities,” Army spokeswoman Cynthia Smith told USA Today Wednesday.
Smith said Manning’s dishonorable discharge was included in the terms of the 35-year prison sentence imposed on her in 2013.
If Manning wants to appeal the discharge determination, he’s free to do that, but on what conditions would he stand? His sentence was commuted. He wasn’t absolved of guilt. If his appeal fails, the dishonorable discharge stands.
That also means losing all Veterans’ Administration benefits.
The Army has been providing Manning with treatment for gender dysphoria, USA Today said, including hormone treatments.
Manning was also a candidate for gender-reassignment surgery, it added, which would have been paid for under the Pentagon’s new policy for transgender troops.
Gone. All gone.
Manning has attempted suicide twice while in prison, hence the reason activists felt the urgency to press for his release.
Unfortunately, it seems Manning’s problems run far deeper than the surface fix of hormones and body mutilation.
But that’s no longer the U.S. government’s problem. Let’s hope his family has access to mental health resources. He obviously needs a lot of care, and a competent psychologist will do more for him than a surgeon getting rich at the expense of someone’s mental and emotional health.