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Monday, June 24, 2024 | Back issues
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Court-Martial Upheld|Against Chelsea Manning

(CN) - The court-martial of and 35-year sentence facing Chelsea Manning for spilling secrets to WikiLeaks has been approved, a U.S. military official revealed Monday.

Manning had been sentenced on Aug. 21, 2013, and publicly revealed that she was transgender the next day.

A press release Monday from Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan makes no mention of Manning's female identity, however, and instead uses the former Army private's birth name, Bradley, as well as male pronouns.

Buchanan commands both the U.S. Army Military District of Washington and the Joint Force Headquarters-National Capital Region.

His approval Thursday of the court-martial results means that the convening authority rejected a bid for clemency by Manning's lawyer.

The Army Court of Criminal Appeals will preside over Manning's next challenge.

Manning was convicted on July 30 in connection to the biggest intelligence breach in U.S. history, in which WikiLeaks published battlefield reports from Iraq and Afghanistan, diplomatic cables from around the globe, and profiles of Guantanamo detainees.

The 26-year-old's sentence took into account that she already served 1,293 days in prison before her arrest in May 2010.

Manning also earned another 112-day credit for enduring "unlawful pretrial punishment" during a nine-month stint at a Marine Corps brig in Quantico, Va., where she spent more than 23 hours a day in an 8-by-6 foot cell.

Ft. Leavenworth, which is housing Manning in its disciplinary barracks, does not follow the lead of other federal prisons in offering transgender inmates hormone therapy or sex-reassignment surgery.

Manning could be out before her 40th birthday with parole.

As convening authority, Buchanan could have disapproved any part of the findings related to Manning's court-martial. He also could have disapproved of or changed all or part of the sentence. It would not have been possible for him, however, to impose additional punishment or changing a court finding of not guilty to guilty was not possible.

An aiding-the-enemy charge, of which Manning was famously acquitted , could have put her away for life.

Manning's legal team discussed appeal plans, headed by attorney Nancy Hollander, at the Georgetown University Law Center on Sunday night.

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