Wednesday Bradley Manning was sentenced to 35 years in jail for providing leaked sensitive information to wikileaks, embarrassing the USA and exposing war criminals in the US military. Thursday there are reports that Manning has issued a letter thanking his supporters and stating that he wants to begin hormone therapy and live out the rest of his life as a woman.
Much was made of Bradley's personality and sexuality issues during his military trial, especially during its latter stages. His " dirty washing" was aired in public for all to chew over and take a sneaky giggle at. Now it seems the same may happen about his hopes for the future.
However loyal supporters of Bradley Manningv will not care that he feels he is a man trapped in a woman's body and wants to rectify that. Supporters of this young person are petitioning President Barack Obama in the hope of a pardon for the young former soldier but don't hold your breath.
Washington wanted to send out a clear signal to other would be whistle-blowers in the USA. The message was keep your lips sealed no matter you see happening. It was not as some may claim a message that said use the legal channels to expose the wrong-doers as that would lay the accuser open to a range of abuse.
If reports are accurate Bradley now wants to be called Chelsea Manning. The problem is that although Manning was kicked out of the miltary as his trial drew to a close, he is being held in a military prison. Here he will not have access to hormone therapy or gender surgery. In confirming this a miltary spokesperson said: "Military inmates have access to mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers and behavioural science specialists".
Is it all part of a cunning plan to get moved elsewhere? No that is highly unlikely. The news however may put some so-called liberals in the USA in a quandary. Those who claim to be liberal yet offer people like Manning and Edward Snowden a verbal lashing at every opportunity. Will they change their minds about Bradley now that he wants to be a woman?
All joshing apart Bradley is a complex human being with perhaps more issues than many of us. His time spent being cruelly abused after he was arrested in 2010 until his trial in 2013 will not have helped his mental health, will it?
Still Washington wanted this frail young man to pay a high price for being honest and he has certainly done that.
Good luck Ms Manning.
I want to thank everybody who has supported me over the last three years.