Jonah Bennett, DCNF
When Chelsea Manning is released from military prison, he will remain in active duty status and be eligible for health care benefits.
Manning, who is widely known for leaking hundreds of thousands of national security documents to WikiLeaks in 2010, will leave Fort Leavenworth on May 17 and be entitled to health care, USA Today reports.
Although Manning initially entered prison as a man named Bradley, he later transitioned to a woman and adopted the name Chelsea in 2013. He attempted suicide multiple times while in confinement and complained of abuse like “routinely forced haircuts.” In 2016, Manning engaged in a hunger strike until the government agreed to provide gender transition treatment.
As one of his last moves before leaving the White House, President Barack Obama commuted Manning’s 35-year sentence, which enraged President-elect Donald Trump.
“Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader. Terrible!” Trump tweeted January 26.
Manning would have been eligible for parole in six years. While Manning will go back to active duty as a private, he will not be paid, though he will have access to health care benefits.
“Pvt. Manning is statutorily entitled to medical care while on excess leave in an active duty status, pending final appellate review,” Army spokesman Dave Foster told USA Today.
The Army has declined to release details on where Manning will be stationed. It’s also unclear to whom Manning will report.
If Manning’s appeal of his court martial conviction is denied, he may be dishonorably discharged. This would, of course, mean a loss of health benefits and government-funded sex reassignment surgery.
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