'Call Me Chelsea': Manning Seeks Sex Reassignment

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One day after being sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified material to WikiLeaks, Pfc. Bradley Manning has announced he now plans to live as a woman.
    
He is asking to be referred to as Chelsea and wants to begin hormone therapy.

"As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me," he said in a statement provided to NBC's "Today" show.

"I am Chelsea Manning," the statement read. "I am a female. Given the way that I feel and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible."

Manning's defense attorney, David Coombs, said he will do everything in his power to make sure officials at the Fort Leavenworth military prison in Kansas accommodate Manning's request for hormone therapy.

The Army, meanwhile, said it does not provide sex-reassignment surgery.

"All inmates are considered soldiers and are treated as such with access to mental health professionals, including a psychiatrist, psychologist, social workers and behavioral science noncommissioned officers," Army spokesman George Wright said.

A jury recently found Manning guilty of 20 crimes, including violating the Espionage Act. He was acquitted of aiding the enemy, a crime that carries a potential penalty of life without parole.

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